Sam Allardyce preferred Michael Owen as the starter on Saturday in preference to Oba Martins, who is Newcastle’s top goal-scorer with 3 goals.
Sam talked today to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle and said something most Newcastle fans will welcome and agree with â€“ that both Michael and Oba will get lots of starts and lots of playing time this season.
Oba Martins – played role of super sub on Saturday
This is what Sam had ton say today to the Evening Chronicle:
â€œChoosing the front men, for me, is a difficult job.â€â€œIt was a big decision leaving Oba on the bench against Wigan. He didnâ€™t really deserve it, but I felt that was better for us.â€
â€œHe came on and made a massive contribution to our win, and heâ€™ll get enough games, like Michael will.â€
â€œThe only disappointment was the injury to Mark Viduka, but we donâ€™t think thatâ€™ll be too serious. Thereâ€™s two weeks now to clear that up.â€
â€œShola Ameobi also came on and did a terrific job. He was very unlucky not to score with his presence in the box.â€
Wigan went on the defensive once they were harshly reduced to 10 men by referee Steve Bennett. They immediately replaced one of their strikers Antoine Sibierski, who as expected got a warm reception, and replaced him with defender Emmerson Boyce. This didn’t make it any easier for Newcastle to break Wigan down with lots of Wigan players getting behind the ball.
â€œBecause Wigan sat back and made life extremely difficult for us, we had to be very patient.â€
â€œWe had to break a very difficult back nine down â€“ two banks of four that werenâ€™t going anywhere.â€
â€œIn the end we needed a bit of quality. We showed a lot of quality in creating the chances, but didnâ€™t show enough in finishing.â€
â€œFinally we got a great cross and a great finish. It was a really good ball from Steven Taylor, and first-time cross from Oba.â€
â€œNot only did we show a bit of poor finishing, we also had a lot of hard luck.â€
â€œWe believe we had at least one goal that shouldnâ€™t have been disallowed, and many more chances that went begging.â€
We were pleased to see the positive attitude of the players in that they kept going even though they had atrocious luck and some dubious calls by referee Steve Bennett, who didn’t particularly have one of his better games.
United now have 3 clean sheets in their first 5 games â€“ all at home as it happens. The more clean sheets we can get this season the higher we will be in the league. We must say the way the defense performed on Saturday we’re sure there’s a lot more clean sheets on the way.
Rozehnal and Cacapa looked very solid in the middle of the defense and once Beye and Enrique come in as full-backs we should be in very good shape. Just how Steven Taylor forces his way into the back line will also be interesting, but he’ll still get lots of playing time. Steven had an excellent game on Saturday and seemed to be enjoying the game and could have had 2 goals with any luck.
Allardyce summed up:
â€œOverall it was another three points and a very, very good clean sheet.”
â€œOur defenders concentrated for 90 minutes, and basically snuffed out any threat from Wigan from start to finish.â€
Certainly there are probably a lot of league points for Newcastle at St. James’ Park this year. The home games against the top 4 will be real crackers. We just have to show the same patience, guts and fortitude we did on Saturday and success will surely be ours.