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Singapore's Hariss named in AFF Best XI

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By ESPN Staff

Roeder wants striker and defender by deadline

Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder is targeting a striker and a central defender as he prepares to make late additions to his squad.

Roeder has all but given up on signing Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen and Chelsea full-back Wayne Bridge after being forced to narrow his focus.

Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa once again exposed the Magpies' lack of a cutting edge as well as their fragility in defence.

Gravesen's recruitment, while attractive, was never a main priority, and the club's pursuit of Bridge is complicated by the uncertainty over Ashley Cole's proposed move to Stamford Bridge from Arsenal.

Newcastle have instead turned their attention to signing a commanding central defender, and are competing with derby rivals Middlesbrough, among others, to sign Jonathan Woodgate.

Real Madrid star Woodgate spoke to the Teessiders yesterday and promised manager Gareth Southgate an answer over a proposed one-year loan deal within 24 hours.

Boro's chances of landing the home-grown defender may not have been improved by Monday's shocking 4-0 home defeat by Portsmouth, although he will have seen just how much they need him.

Woodgate, of course, joined Real from Newcastle in a £13.4million 2004 August, and while there has been an interest from St James' Park, concerns over his injury history have made his arrival unlikely.

Robert Huth, too, is in the sights of both clubs having missed out on a permanent £5million move to Boro during the summer because of a failed medical.

The Magpies are also looking for a third striker to help out £10million signing Obafemi Martins and Shola Ameobi.

Meanwhile, former Newcastle captain Bobby Moncur - the last one to lift a trophy back in 1969 - has urged £9.5million flop Albert Luque to prove his worth.

The Spaniard has shown little sign of improvement on last season's disappointing form during the opening weeks of the campaign, and with a move away now unlikely Moncur believes now is the time repay the club's faith in him.

His comments came after the former Deportivo La Coruna star turned in an insipid display as a substitute at Villa Park.

Moncur told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: 'He can even come and punch me in the nose if he wants - at least then he will be showing a bit of passion. That is what the Geordie crowd are asking for.

'The thousands of Geordies who travelled to Villa on Sunday must have been thinking, `what the heck is going on here?'

'The Newcastle fans are a knowledgeable crowd, and although they can sometimes sympathise when a player does not always have stacks of ability, one thing they will not accept is the wrong attitude which, in this case, is showing a lack of passion in a United shirt.

'A lot of people who have been in football for many, many years told me that Luque is a good player, and I have seen the stats from his time in Spain too.

'People such as Graham Taylor and former Arsenal and England striker Alan Smith have said he has got the capabilities.

'That might be the case, but when are we going to see it?

'I would be delighted, totally delighted, if Albert proves me wrong.

'I'm sure that the Toon Army would soon get behind Luque if he started showing more willingness for the cause too.'