At the start of the pre-season friendly yesterday with Carlisle United Newcastle had a few players missing from last week.
As we all know Michael Owen has a minor thigh strain â€“ which will keep him out until next weekend but Shola Ameobi and keeper Shay Given were also missing. James Milner was on the bench – but didn’t get a run out. Seems like all three were carrying very slight knocks.
There is also a nasty rumour going around that Joey Barton has injured his foot and may be out several weeks – we’ll also take a look at that one.
Sam Allardyce spoke briefly after the game â€“ let’s take a look at what Sam had to say.
After the game Big Sam said:
“Shay had a little bit of a heel problem, while Michael’s is his thigh and Shola had a bad back.â€
“James Milner came with us but then felt his groin tighten in the warm-up.â€
“I don’t want to risk any of them. We want them all to be as fit as quickly as possible and hopefully competing against Celtic on Thursday night.â€
“We left a few behind because I didn’t want to risk them.â€
â€œWe put the youngsters on as well as it was a case of rotating the players we had and making sure we didn’t get any injuries or fatigue.”
We should also remember that Sam always said he would use these games as a training exercise to give his players match practice. While it’s always nice to win – winning these games was not necessarily the number one aim. However, the goal we conceded yesterday was messy so that’s not good – but no doubt Sam will use it to review with the defense what went wrong.
The Newcastle fan’s site NUFC.COM are reporting that Joey Barton, who was captain yesterday – and who was replaced on the hour mark, may have broken a bone in his foot. We caution there is no official confirmation of this – but NUFC.COM were right in first reporting Duscher had left Newcastle after his trial – and are a responsible site.
We’ll just have to hope that in this case they’re wrong. If it is true that would not be good news for Newcastle – and of course we have no idea how long Joey would be out of action.
UPDATE – Well unfortunately it’s true – Joey has fractured a metatarsal in his foot. He underwent a scan following the friendly match and faces six or seven weeks on the sidelines. NOT good news for the club and Joey.