It’s clear that the Newcastle team has more quality now than last season, but we’re still too small a squad, and injuries are already affecting team selection for manager Kevin Keegan.
Michael Owen – only fit striker right now – and he’s just returned
Michael Owen said after the game last night:
“We’re a lot of strikers down.” “I’m the last fit striker and there are some important games coming up.”
“But I’m building all the time and hopefully I will start against Arsenal on Saturday now.”
Keegan played James Milner and Jonas Gutierrez up front, out of necessity, and they were all over the Coventry defense, with Gutierrez seemingly everywhere and Milner getting the MOM award, for another glittering display.
News that Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neil was in the crowd last night, but there’s no way James is leaving Newcastle United, unless the club wants a full scale fan revolt.
But we need at least another four players in, before next Monday night, otherwise we can kiss a high league position goodbye.
After the game last night, Kevin Keegan gave credit to the Coventry players, who played their hearts out, although the Newcastle manager was unhappy with the amount of injury time added to the game.
“I couldn’t even ask the referee because of the Respect thing.” “It was a cracking cup tie and maybe he was enjoying the game too much – he didn’t want it to stop!”
“We had to win that game three times. There were a lot of pluses but we had a bit of a death wish at the end of each half.”
“We played some fantastic football and missed a few chances but Coventry never stopped battling.”
Sky Blues boss Chris Coleman was proud of his players, and rightly so, as he said after the game:
“We were much more in their faces in the second half – and then they bring on Michael Owen. He showed his worth when he came on.”
If we had any thoughts of signing Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko before next Monday, we’ll have to forget them, as he agreed last night to join Spurs in a ? 12M deal – he would have been great at Newcastle United.
But there’s just 5 days left in the transfer window and the Newcastle squad is just too small.
There’s a meeting today between owner Ashley, manager Keegan and recruitment head Wise, although we don’t expect to learn much about what is discussed.
We expect transfer targets and contracts to be just two of the items on the agenda.