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Football: WONDERERS!; Wolves 3 Newcastle 2: Wolves savage Toon and save Jones' job.

Byline: DAVID MOORE

WOLVES manager Dave Jones celebrated his escape from the sack last night after one of the finest FA Cup ties in recent memory.

While Newcastle argued amongst themselves, with skipper Alan Shearer accusing his team-mates of not trying, Wolves manager Dave Jones declared: "This ranks as one of the best results of my entire managerial career.

"My players were fantastic in terms of work-rate, commitment, endeavour and ability. They had the lot.

"It simply goes to show the level we can achieve when we are at our best, producing some excellent football when it mattered.

"The message is clear. We have to maintain our standards now. And at least it keeps me in a job for another week."

The Molineux thriller left chairman Sir Jack Hayward - 80 in May - clutching at his chest in mock terror.

The Bahamas-based multi-millionaire, who earlier in the week had threatened Jones with the sack unless First Division promotion results show a swift improvement, said: "The old pacemaker has taken a right battering today.

"I didn't enjoy the last 10 minutes, when we were hanging on to our lead against a very fine Premiership side.

"But now we are through to the fourth round, it's all wonderful, absolutely terrific. Newcastle were favourites to progress, but we out-played them. Now I want another home tie, because we can take on anybody at our ground."

Jones added: "People talk about pressure. But my attitude is that it comes with the job. I enjoy it. I'll accept it any day".

Shearer, and Sir Bobby Robson, obviously believed that too many of the United team wilted under the pressure. Shearer, whose 43rdminute penalty hauled the visitors level after going two goals down, admitted: "We deserved exactly what we got.

"There weren't many of us who were working very hard today, and we've done this king of thing too often away from home this season.

"Don't lets take anything away from Wolves, who deserved their win, but we've committed soccer suicide again. We presented Wolves with so many great opportunities, it was untrue."

United boss Sir Bobby Robson said: "I'm not just disappointed, I'm sick. This result will disappoint the whole city of Newcastle, because the FA Cup means a lot to our supporters.

"Whether some players didn't give their all, I don't know. But we were angry in the dressing-room. I was spitting blood. I saw players pulling out of tackles and failing to show sufficient vim and vigour.

"Wolves were up for it, we weren't. We have lost a gigantic game of football."

Robson continued: "We thought the right result would come our way simply because of our Premier League status. I won't accept that kind of attitude.

"I trust my players won't sleep tonight - because I definitely won't."

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BY GEORGE, HE'S DONE IT: Ndah's winner is hailed by Shaun Newton Picture: CHRIS TURVEY
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2003
Words:481
Previous Article:Football: MOYES TO GET TOUGH.
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