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By ESPN Staff

Toon coach blasts 'little upstart' Bellamy

Newcastle coach Terry McDermott has branded Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy 'a little upstart' over their tunnel bust-up at Anfield.

The former Reds and Magpies midfielder launched a scathing attack on the 27-year-old after the pair clashed following Wednesday night's game between the two clubs.

McDermott claims Bellamy, who left Newcastle after a fall-out with then manager Graeme Souness, provoked the incident by repeatedly called him names.

McDermott said: 'I was talking to the referee. It had nothing to do with anyone else and I take exception to little upstarts like him.

'I do not like it when people like to think they are bigger than clubs.

'When he was at Newcastle, he thought he was a big cheese. Everywhere he has been, he has been in bother - and it is all starting again at Liverpool.

'There was no need for it at all and he was 100 per cent out of order.'

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez later dismissed the confrontation as a storm in a teacup but McDermott revealed what had actually gone on after Liverpool's 2-0 victory.

He told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: 'I was upset that we had lost the game in the way that we did.

'We felt that at the start of the second half we should have had two stonewall penalties, something which was backed up by the TV replays and in the first instance by Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

'I was talking to the referee at the edge of the tunnel when Bellamy appeared on the scene and suddenly started calling me names.

'I thought he was just joking and I put my arm around him, but he kept on calling me names and that is when it all kicked off.

'I had my say and when he got to the top of the stairs, he started shouting at me again. But of course he had security guys around him.'

Bellamy left St James' Park under a cloud, first on loan to Celtic and then to Blackburn in a permanent switch after trying the patience of Souness once too often.

McDermott was, of course, a member of Souness' coaching staff, and made no secret of his view of the Welshman's behaviour.

Bellamy was taunted throughout the game by the travelling fans, and is assured of an interesting welcome when the Merseysiders head for St James' Park on February 10.

Meanwhile, keeper Steve Harper has admitted his desolation at the 60-yard strike with which Xabi Alonso sealed his side's victory.

The 31-year-old was beaten by the Spaniard after stumbling as he back-pedalled, ending his side's hopes of a late fightback.

Harper said: 'I was really enjoying the game. I felt great, and I do not understand it.

'I was playing quite high up to counteract Craig Bellamy's pace, but I was no further out than the penalty spot.

'I was just back-pedalling to try and catch it, and as I tried to change direction, I went over.

'I am going to see that for the rest of my life now - it is just devastating.

'It was just one fatal slip at the wrong time. If you're an outfield player and you slip, there is somebody there to cover it for you.

'I am not looking forward to seeing it, but it is history now and we have got to go out there on Sunday (against Everton) and put it right.

'It was a horrible thing to happen, but it happened.

'The good thing is that I have got a chance to go out there and get it out of my system.'