Harper hails Keegan effect
Steve Harper, sole survivor from Kevin Keegan's last spell in charge of Newcastle, says the club has been given an incredible lift.
By Chris Harvey
Last Updated: 17/01/08 2:20pm
Steve Harper, sole survivor from Kevin Keegan's last spell in charge of Newcastle, says his appointment has given the club an incredible lift.
And the Magpies keeper, who was just 18 when Keegan brought him to St James' Park in 1993, believes the former England boss can lift the players to new heights.
Harper told the club's official website: "He just walks into a room and a player grows by 20 per cent. If he has that effect again - and I'm sure he will - then the world's our oyster.
"Now he's back it's a case of fasten your seat belts, here we go. I'm the only player left from those times [Keegan's last spell as manager] I was just a young lad when he came here but he took us from the brink of going into the old Third Division to title challengers.
"Kevin left 11 years ago and there's been seven or eight managers in the meantime that have given it their best shot. It's gone full circle and it's incredible the lift it's given everyone.
Harper's team-mate Steven Taylor believes fans will raise the roof of St James' Park on Saturday when Keegan takes charge of his first game against Bolton
The 21-year-old used to watch from the stands during Keegan's last spell in charge of the Magpies.
"I used to watch from the Sir John Hall stand when players such as Les Ferdinand, David Ginola, Tino Asprilla and Philippe Albert were playing," Taylor said.
"It was an exciting time and that's what the fans want to see.
"The roof is going to lift off on Saturday and we just can't wait to get out there."
Taylor heard about Keegan's return prior to the kick-off of the Toon's FA Cup replay with Stoke City.
"We heard the news before the game and we knew there would be a buzz around the stadium.
"We were in the dressing room when Nigel Pearson was giving his team talk and you could hear the fans singing 'There's only one Kevin Keegan' outside.
"I think I can speak on behalf of the players and say that everyone is delighted. It has given the club a lift and the fans showed that - they were absolutely buzzing."