Newcastle interim boss Joe Kinnear admits the two week international break has been of great benefit to both his Newcastle side, and to himself.
Damien Duff – had another great game for Ireland on Wednesday
Newcastle United had seven men away on International duty, and it would have been a lot more but for injuries.
England captain Steven Taylor and Xisco played key roles in their country’s Under-21 Euro Championships qualification, and Irishmen Damien Duff and Shay Given, along with Cameroon star Geremi helped their countries to World Cup wins.
But Joe Kinnear was particularly impressed with his fellow Irishman Duff, and his great play against Cyprus as Joe commented:
“Damien had a great game for Ireland and it was a fantastic run and cross to set up the goal for Robbie Keane,” “He’s a top player, but we’ve all known that for a long time.”
“I said after the Everton game that I would’ve loved another match straight away,” “But looking back now I’m glad we had the break because we’ve got through a lot of good work.”
“I’ve really got to know the lads and they’ve got to know me.” “Added to that we’re also seeing the likes of Habib Beye, Oba Martins and Jonas Gutierrez nearing a return.”
“The injury to Michael Owen is a big disappointment but we’ve got to get on with things and there are other players who can come in.”
Good to hear Joe being so positive and realistic when many a manager (how about Graeme Souness as just one example) would be moaning about their bad luck with injuries.
That positive attitude will certainly rub off on our players.