Newcastle will lose a number of their players such as Oba Martins, Habib Beye, Abdoulaye Faye and Geremi when the African Cup of Nations begins in January.
The tournament lasts three weeks, from January 20 until February 10, but players have to report to their respective countries a ridiculous two weeks before the tournament starts.
Chris Mort has already discussed how Newcastle will get through this period with manager Sam Allardyce.
Newcastle chairman Chris Mort deep in thought – how do we get through January?
Mort told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle this afternoon:
â€œThey are very important players to this team, and Sam and I have talked about just how we will get through that period.â€
â€œWe are developing a squad that should be capable of dealing with absentees, whether this is because of the African Cup of Nations or something else.â€
â€œInevitably, we will have our fair share of injuries and we are trying to put together a squad that can cope.â€
â€œSome teams are affected more than others. Portsmouth have a big African contingent too, while Chelsea will lose the likes of Drogba, but most Premier League teams will suffer.â€
One way to is to get the new players in during the January window as soon as possible, by already having the deals done by January 1st. While that will not be possible in all cases we’ve got to believe Chris and Sam are doing their homework, on which new players they want to draft into the squad in January.
Owenâ€™s name will undoubtedly be bandied about come the January sales, even though Newcastle have no interest in selling and there is no release clause now in his contract. But no doubt the press will still publish headlines that Manchester City or whoever will bid for Michael. Letâ€™s tell you now â€“ itâ€™s just a load of garbage.
Bur Mort went out of his way to express his admiration for the player and how he deals with all his publicity.
â€œI think Michael does incredibly well with things â€“ if you look at the amount of column inches he receives, he does a brilliant job dealing with it.â€
â€œThere are a number of players in the country where this is going to be the case.â€ â€œThey have the media following their every move. Iâ€™ve not talked to Michael about a contact extension.â€
â€œWe are enjoying seeing him fit and well again and performing well on the pitch. I donâ€™t feel now is the right time to talk about extending his contract.â€
â€œI think he just wants to get back to playing regular football.â€ â€œAnd itâ€™s great to see him back on the pitch which is where we want him.â€
Michael has to concentrate on getting back to his very sharpest and only games will do that. Michael’s now gone 6 games (following today’s derby draw with Sunderland) without a goal for Newcastle or England. Maybe Michael can break that duck with a goal in our next game at home against his former side Liverpool, in 2 weeks.