Newcastle keepers: No revolt against Sam
Newcastle goalkeepers Shay Given and Steve Harper have released a statement refuting claims that senior players have voiced their concerns to under-fire boss Sam Allardyce. It has been reported that a string of experienced players complained to Allardyce following their heavy defeat to Liverpool on November 24. The team have now lost four in five games following Saturday's reverse at Blackburn. Now Harper and Given - the club's longest-serving players - have taken the unusual step of releasing a statement on the club's official website giving their full backing to the former Bolton boss. The duo told the club's official website: 'Having seen an article in one of this morning's national newspapers, we feel it is vitally important that Newcastle United's two longest-serving players set the record straight. 'The story that has appeared is total and utter nonsense. Sam Allardyce has the full backing and support of every Newcastle United player and we are all working together as one to bring success to the football club.' Given and Harper revealed that there is constant communication between the players and Allardyce and this should not be viewed as 'player power'. 'At Newcastle United we have a player committee which is led by our captain Geremi, and which also includes James Milner, Mark Viduka and ourselves,' they continued. 'Many issues are openly discussed between players and the manager, as is commonplace at any club. 'Far from that being `player power' or any other ridiculous description, this is sensible and constructive communication and a key part of the process of helping to build a stronger football club which will take us forward.' There have been reports of senior players dissenting over tactics, training and plans to stay away from the north-east over Christmas. But the two goalkeepers insist nothing could be further from the truth and have described the talk of unrest at St James' park as 'mischief-making'. 'It is fair to say both of us are absolutely furious at what we have read today,' they added. 'It is mischief-making of the highest order and appears designed to unsettle everyone on the eve of our big game against Arsenal on Wednesday night.'