Given: Newcastle players proved we're behind Big Sam

Shay Given says Newcastle United's 1-1 draw against Arsenal is proof the players are behind manager Sam Allardyce.

Given said: "It proved everyone is united, that we're sticking together and we're all behind the manager. That's what has to happen to get the club moving forward again.

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"After the huge disappointment in the previous couple of home games, we all went home happier. We've been going home as disappointed as the supporters but this was better. There are signs that we're moving in the right direction."

Newcastle face Birmingham at St James' on Saturday before a Christmas programme which includes clashes at Fulham, Wigan and Chelsea and home dates with Derby and Manchester City.

With Newcastle supporters going out of their way to back the players on Wednesday night, Given accepts tomorrow's game is possibly even bigger than Arsenal.

He said: "The atmosphere was special against Arsenal. The fans gave us a great response before, during and after the game. They've seen how hard we worked and we need that every week.

"We can't duck below it against Birmingham. It's a massive game. We have to ensure we get the same work rate and the same attitude."

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