Before the Birmingham game Kevin Keegan decided to change the formation of the Newcastle side, and decided to go with a 4-3-3 formation so he could use all 3 strikers, Martins, Owen and Viduka in the side.
Damien Duff – not even making the subs bench these days
That meant that both Damien Duff and Alan Smith were left out of the team, and in Duffâ€™s case he didnâ€™t even make the subs bench in the last two games.
Kevin Keegan talked yesterday to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle about the changes he had to make, for the good of the team.
“When I went to see Damien before the Birmingham game, I explained my reasons why I had to make changes.â€
“I said, ‘You’re the unlucky one along with Alan Smith this time’, but if I’d gone to Nicky Butt’s room, or Joey Barton’s room, James Milner’s room or any of the players’ rooms, I could have chosen any of them and said the same thing and they all would have accepted it.â€
“I had to make that decision as manager and they’ve taken it well, and their response – both of them – has been to train even harder, if that’s possible, because the two of them do like training.â€
“They have been fantastic on the bench or on the sidelines. They’ve not let their heads go down. They’ve said, ‘Right, I’m going to get back in’. That’s what you want – those characters.”
It’s good to hear that both Alan and Damien have accepted the changes but both players want to play every game and they cannot be too happy. This puts a question mark over both players’ futures at the club, although we think Kevin will want to keep both of them in the summer.
It’s going to be very interesting once we are safe from relegation, just which players are moved on in the summer. That will give us some idea as to what Kevin is thinking about the formation of next season’s team.
The 4-5 new players we expect to be brought in during the summer should be very good, and without being overly optimistic, we are pretty sure next year should be a good season for us.
Now where have you heard that one before.Â 😀