Robson: We lack experience
By Nic Evans. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
NEWCASTLE UNITED manager Sir Bobby Robson has admitted that his team lacks Champions League experience, with The Magpies failing to register a point in their two games thus far.
Against Dinamo Kiev, Robson's plans thawed out following a wonder strike by Maksim Shatskikh and in the first home game, Feyenoord held out under almost constant pressure from Newcastle, after another superb goal from Sebastian Pardo.
Despite a number of internationals in his squad, Robson feels that the lack of top European knowledge has hurt his side.
Aaron Hughes remains from the 1997-98 side, indeed the Irishman made his debut against Barcelona in Camp Nou - a game lost 1-0. Alan Shearer was in the team but sidelined with injury and his only experience of the Champions League came with Blackburn Rovers.
Realistically only four points from the two games against Juve would give Robson's side a chance to go through, meaning they would then have to beat Feyenoord in Holland and Kiev at St James'.
The Italians looked a tired team when they drew 2-2 with Parma on Saturday, thanks to a dubious Alessandro Del Piero goal in injury time, but will undoubtedly raise their game following a blast from coach Marcello Lippi.
Robson compared his side to Manchester United's saying: "We are short of experience. Manchester United's Nicky Butt, who is just 27, has played more than 50 Champions League games.
"We've played only two games, and there will be players more experienced than Butt in the Champions League.
"So this is a different challenge, but we are not far behind."
Newcastle fans will be hoping that their side can finish at least third to ensure Uefa Cup football for the rest of the season.