Cacapa had an excellent game on Saturday as Newcastle kept their first away clean sheet in over a year.
Claudio Cacapa – glad to be back in Newcastle defense
We heard yesterday how much David Rozehnal enjoyed playing with Claudio in the heart of Newcastleâ€™s defense. Claudio talked to the Evening Chronicle and finally admitted to not being fully fit for the Pompey game, because of a hamstring problem.
He told the Evening Chronicle today:
â€œItâ€™s been a frustrating time for me since that game with Portsmouth, and all I wanted to do was to get back into my black-and-white shirt again.â€
â€œIf the truth was known, I should not really have played against Portsmouth because I was carrying a hamstring injury, but I let my heart rule my head that day because obviously I am new to the club and I did not want to let anybody down.â€
â€œHowever, while the manager substituted me against Portsmouth, he has been great with me telling me that in all his experience he has never known a player who never had an off-day.â€
Sam Allardyce is nothing if not a motivator of his players, so it’s good to hear how he’s handled Claudio since the Portsmouth game. We get an idea of just why Sam’s players will run through a brick wall for him.
â€œNow I can only hope that I have had my off-day for this season and I can help us maintain our current good form.â€
â€œLike all hamstring injuries, mine has taken some time to heal and, after just having 45 minutes in our practice match with Hartlepool on Thursday, I thought that the most I could hope for was a place on the substitutes bench at Craven Cottage.â€
â€œHowever, when Steven Taylor went down, ironically with a hamstring injury â€“ I volunteered to play against Fulham.â€ â€œI knew the manager and the rest of the players had confidence in me and I hope I repaid them on Saturday.â€
Cacapa played Champions League football for Lyon for 5 years before coming to Newcastle in the summer. And before the Portsmouth game to be honest, he had looked very steady and classy at the back for Newcastle. So it was a real surprise when he looked so hopeless against Portsmouth.
We would expect Claudio to keep his place in Newcastleâ€™s defense for the visit of Derby County next weekend, and we expect his partner to be young Steven Taylor. It would be good to see how these two play together and certainly Steven can learn a lot, in a very short time, from the talented Brazilian.
We know Claudio will get a great reception from the Newcastle fans now that the Portsmouth game is finally behind him.
Comments very welcome.