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By ESPN Staff

Roeder reveals Bale scouting mission

Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder is stepping up his pursuit of Southampton's Gareth Bale, the most in-demand teenager in English football.

Roeder has confirmed he and chief scout David Mills will watch the 17-year-old left-back in tonight's match between Southampton and Coventry.

'I don't normally talk about specific targets, but if I am spotted at Coventry it will be obvious who I am watching,' Roeder told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

'As far as our scouting is concerned, we are now in overdrive for next season.

'We only have the rest of February, March, April and a bit of May to make sure the players we targeted in January, but were unable to get, are still playing well.

'We will be checking on these players and other targets, so that if for any reason we do not get the players who are our first choice, we are in a position to act straight away.'

Roeder is also keeping tabs on Derby midfielder Giles Barnes and West Brom defender Curtis Davies - he watched the latter in action at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Roeder has been given a glowing assessment of his achievements this season by one of his predecessors, Kevin Keegan.

Keegan, who was Magpies skipper when Roeder was a player, said his old team-mate had worked wonders in a season when he has not been able to call on Alan Shearer or Michael Owen.

The former England manager said: 'Glenn has not had that much to spend, but he was asked to stabilise the club and that's what he has done.

'And he can be proud of what he has achieved in very difficult circumstances this season when you take into account the injuries Newcastle have had.

'With no Alan Shearer for the first time in 10 years this was always going to be a very difficult season for my old club, and Glenn was not helped when Michael Owen was injured playing for England before a ball was kicked.'