Newcastle United ÿmanager Sir Bobby Robson remained upbeat about his side’s chances of progressing in the Champions League despite last night’s comprehensive defeat to Dynamo Kyiv.

Goals from Maksim Shatskikh and Aleksandr Khatskevich secured a comfortable 2-0 victory for Kyiv and were it not for a fine performance from Shay Given in the Newcastle goal, the margin of victory could have been greater.

Nonetheless, Robson believes his team have still got a good chance of qualifying.

“We are not despondent as there are five games to play and our chances of making progress are still high,” he said.

“The pattern of the match came as a big surprise,” he added.

“I thought Dynamo would venture forward and we would play on the counter, but it was exactly the opposite.”

“They were tremendous at the back and there was simply no way past them,” he said.

“We were given few chances by their defenders and my forwards, Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy, were forced to play without the ball for most of the game.”

Dynamo coach Olexiy Mykhaylichenko was delighted with his team’s display.

“We have launched our Champions League campaign with a great victory,” he said. “It is not just important for us as far as the tournament goes but also from a psychological point of view.

“We were up against it because so many of our players were injured but we managed to beat Newcastle, one of the strongest English sides. Nevertheless, it is only the first step of what will be a lengthy campaign. I’m not going to single out any particular player for praise as that is not in the tradition of Dynamo.”