It seems like Kevin Keegan pushed Shay Given back on Saturday too quickly and of course Shay paid for that with yet another groin injury.
Shay Given – returned too soon last Saturday
Hereâ€™s what Kevin Keegan told the Newcastle Journal this morning:
â€œI take full responsibility for that,â€ â€œShay only had two weeks to get over a groin injury. He passed every fitness test, but I knew there was a slight risk playing him. He wanted to play and made every effort to get fit.â€
â€œBut at half time, he said (his groin) is a little bit achy. Rather than be stupid and say, â€˜You said youâ€™re fit so you can carry on playingâ€™, I took him off. And I thought Steve Harper did well in the second half and made a couple of great saves.â€
Thatâ€™s a surprising statement by Kevin because he has often said he thinks Newcastle have the best two goalkeepers in the Premier league in Given and Harper. So why did he want to rush Shay back?
It does seem a little strange but Shay now has a weakness in that his groin keeps giving way. He went on some strengthening exercises in the summer but itâ€™s obvious it is still too weak. Once the season is over Shay will need to see how he can further strengthen it, maybe by first visiting a specialist.
Steve Harper – will play against Blackburn
But Steve Harper, after playing very well in the second half last Saturday and making two first class saves, will play against Blackburn Rovers.
This is another chance for Steve to stake a claim to the goalkeeper position, because Given has not played up to his usual high standards this season, and Harper has looked good every time he has played.
But we know Harper will play his heart out as usual, and he never lets the team down. It’s getting to be a critical game this Saturday against an in-form Blackburn side, who took Bolton apart 4-1 last Sunday at Ewood Park.
A win would relieve the worries of many supporters who see the team getting slowly drawn into a relegation battle, with just 3 points from our last 10 league games.Â Â Â 🙁