Souness OLeary

By Paul Tully

NEWCASTLE United manager Graeme Souness shrugged off the pressure of the crunch Premiership draw with Aston Villa by declaring: "There are far bigger things I worry about in life than football."

Asked if he had gone through a "tough week", Souness responded: "It's not been an enjoyable week, but it's not tough. People come to our training ground every week who are far less fortunate than us" - a reference to the regular visits to United of seriously ill children.

Only an 88th-minute penalty miss by Gareth Barry spared Souness from defeat three days after another late penalty brought a Carling Cup exit at Wigan on Wednesday.

And he said: "We've had a bit of luck today, which is something we've not had too much of. But we did get a bit today - you can't deny that.

"In terms of what we got from the players out there, I'm extremely happy.We tried to be a little more direct and I think that worked for us today.

"I'm a football person and I understand that last Wednesday at Wigan we didn't perform in any shape or form.

"And I understand the feelings of the supporters. I was unhappy then, but I'm happy today. You can't win every game you are involved in, but the least you expect is for your team to give 100 percent, and we got that today."

Unit were on the brink of defeat when Titus Bramble unnecessarily brought down Milan Baros inside the right edge of the area two minutes from time and Souness said: "Why Titus has gone to make that challenge at that time I don't know. I will be asking him on Monday morning."

Souness admitted you "feel sorry for yourself" at such a time - but Barry's miss brought relief.