Damien Duff made a scoring return to action for Newcastle United yesterday in a successful behind-closed-doors friendly yesterday against Hartlepool United.
Damien Duff – scored against Hartlepool yesterday in first game back
But Sam has quickly stated that neither he nor Brazilian central defender Claudio CaÃ§apa will play at Fulham tomorrow. Sam Allardyce was delighted to see both players come through the game against a Hartlepool United side fit and well, but he will not use either in the game at Fulham, although Cacapa may make the substitutes bench.
Duff will stay on Tyneside over the weekend and work on his fitness as he tries to get ready to play again for the first team.
Sam talked today:
â€œThe game will come a week or two too early for Damien because he is well short of match practice,â€ â€œHe came through the game well and scored, but weâ€™re not going to take any silly risks.”
“He is just really happy to be out on the pitch again and the light at the end of the tunnel is a really big one for him now. Iâ€™m sure heâ€™s very relieved and we are looking forward to having a fit and firing Damien Duff available for selection.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know when that will be. He needs another couple of behind-closed-doors games before he can be considered for the first team and the problem is the reserve league shuts down for Christmas. Weâ€™re desperately trying to get some games for him.â€
CaÃ§apa will travel with the squad to London later today, but the Brazilian will not come straight back into the team. His last game was that game against Portsmouth, which took everybody by surprise, and weâ€™re sure heâ€™s anxious to get back in the side and show the fans that was a one-off terrible performance.
Sam addressed that terrible game against Portsmouth:
â€œThat game is so far gone, it has gone down the River Tyne, into the sea and itâ€™s on its way to bloody France now. We will not be talking about that again.â€
â€œCaÃ§apa looked good and he will be back in the squad on Saturday. But I canâ€™t see him starting the game, heâ€™s still a little rusty and heâ€™s short on match practice.â€
â€œLike Duffer, he needs a bit longer yet, but it will be great to be able to use them at some point over the busy Christmas period because the squad is going to be stretched.â€
But itâ€™s a really good sign that both players are at least physically fit and can help out during our heavy Christmas period, when we just have to start picking up points.Â A win at Fulham tomorrow will keep our momentum going nicely, after last week’s win against Birmingham City.
Comments always welcome.