ANGRY Newcastle United boss Bobby Robson has rapped four of his international stars for putting country before club.

Centre-back Nikos Dabizas is in the doghouse after missing Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round clash with Manchester City because of an injury sustained while playing for Greece last week.

Dabizas was only fit to sit among the Magpies' substitutes for the enthralling tussle with Kevin Keegan's City at St. James' Park.

United edged a 1-0 win against ten men and, though he took nothing away from City's spirited display, Robson was furious that Dabizas, midfielder Gary Speed, striker Craig Bellamy and right-back Aaron Hughes had played 90 minutes just four days earlier in friendly internationals.

Former England manager Robson insisted: "I thought some of our players looked jaded the other night.

"We had nine players away on international duty last week, some playing 90 minutes when they knew we had a massive game here on Sunday.

"They didn't used their heads. I'm annoyed about that - and they know it.''

Speed and Bellamy played for Wales in their 1-1 draw with Argentina at Cardiff - where the United front-runner opened the scoring - Hughes was in action for Northern Ireland in their 4-1 defeat by Poland in Cyprus, and Dabizas lined up in his country's 2-2 draw at home to Sweden.

"They all played 90 minutes,'' said Robson. "I've been an international manager and when it comes to competitive games, like World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, I understand what it's all about.

"But playing 90 minutes in a friendly and coming back injured? Thanks very much, Dabby!''

Meanwhile, the FA yesterday confirmed that Newcastle's televised FA Cup sixth-round tie with Arsenal at St. James' Park goes ahead at 5.35pm on Saturday, March 9, despite the Gunners' protests.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side face Deportivo La Coruna at Highbury in the Champions' League on the following Tuesday, had wanted a mid-day kick-off against Newcastle to allow his players longer recovery time for their European clash.

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