Viduka determined to hold starting spot - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Viduka determined to hold starting spot

By Valkerie Mangnall 25/12/2007 11:26:30 AM Comments (0)

Australian forward Mark Viduka is determined to cement his place in Newcastle's starting line-up after his two-goal performance at the weekend saved the Magpies from defeat at the hands of basement team Derby.

Viduka, starting for the first time since last month's home loss to Liverpool, equalised twice in Sunday's 2-2 English Premier League draw at St James' Park.

"Every player wants to play and it's been hard being out of the side," Viduka said.

"But I've been working hard in training and I know my qualities.

"I've been around long enough and I think everyone knows what I can do.

"I love playing football and I want to do well for this club and win back my place in the side."

Giles Barnes had put the visitors ahead from 20 metres on six minutes before the Australian replied 21 minutes later with a low shot that went just inside the post.

Kenny Miller's superb finish from Gary Teale's flick-on then looked to have sealed victory for Derby, but Viduka again delivered in the dying minutes with a half-volley.

While Viduka was thrilled to have scored his second brace of the season, it was little consolation for missing out on what would have been the Magpie's third straight victory.

"Everyone came in the dressing room and it was like we had lost the game," he said.

"If we want to be where we want to be we should be winning games like that."

With England international Michael Owen still recovering from a thigh injury, the Magpies may come to rely even more on Viduka during the busy Christmas and New Year match schedule.

Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce said: "Mark is a massively important player for us".

The 32-year-old Viduka is yet to make it clear whether he plans to continue his international career in the lead-up to the 2010 World Cup.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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