KIERON Dyer has been ruled out of Sunday's Premiership clash at Manchester United.

The Newcastle United midfielder returned to training late last week and was keen to make himself available for the trip to Old Trafford after making good progress following his latest hamstring setback.

The 27-year-old has made three fleeting appearances since a medical condition threatened to bring a premature end to his football career late last year.

And Glenn Roeder handed Dyer a place in the United starting line-up, for the first time since August, when Southampton were the visitors on Tyneside in the FA Cup fifth Round.

He repaid Roeder's faith by illuminating St James' Park with a sparkling show and netted the match-winner to book a quarter-final tie against Chelsea.

His return prompted tentative suggestions that Dyer had finally shaken off his injury jinx only for him to suffer once more from another slight hamstring strain, which resulted in him missing the last three fixtures.

Newcastle's caretaker manager insists he has no intention of risking another breakdown to the injury-plagued playmaker and is being cautious.

"Kieron came out and did some ball work with us yesterday and it was great to see him back on the training ground," said Roeder, who takes an unbeaten six-match run into Sunday's fixture against Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

"It is still early days for him yet and the only thing we can say is that there is no way we are going to rush him back. Old Trafford is not in our thinking for him or Titus Bramble.

"Titus is back running again and he is happy at the stage his recovery is at following his hamstring injury."

It wouldn't come as a surprise if Roeder didn't select Dyer until the Magpies travel to Stamford Bridge to face Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Newcastle's recent form has been nothing short of miraculous, and the foundation undoubtedly lies with United's much-maligned back four.

Roeder asked the club's IT department to make a compilation of every goal Newcastle had conceded this season, before walking and talking through - individually and collectively - where his defenders were going wrong.

This common sense approach has reaped dividends and United have only conceded two goals in six and kept four clean sheets since Roeder was installed as caretaker boss.

Every defender has come under scrutiny and criticism this term prior to Roeder taking the reins and none more so than Celestine Babayaro.

The Nigerian's commitment to the cause has been questioned, but now he is relishing life on Tyneside.

Roeder hailed the rejuvenated fullback and revealed how, as a former Premiership manager, he marked his left back out for special attention.

He said: "I keep telling him that, when I was manager of West Ham, my team talk when we played Chelsea was partly based on how we could stop him. He was such a good player and he was always a problem to us both defensively and offensively.

"He is now showing that here because he is a very, very good full-back and we need his experience.

"Babayaro might not have had the best of times here but I really recognise what he has done for me and the team in the past couple of weeks."

* Arjen Robben will miss the FA Cup sixth round tie on Wednesday, March 22 after seeing his red card appeal at West Brom turned down and the suspension increased to four games.

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