Joe Kinnear was finally able to name a subs bench of Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Claudio Cacapa, Geremi, Damien Duff, Mark Viduka and Shola Ameobi at Fratton Park yesterday, as the competition for places heats up at Newcastle United.
Joe Kinnear – increaased competition for places at Newcastle
Joe said after the game yesterday:
“There’s no doubt that was the strongest subs bench I’ve been able to name since I came here so hopefully things are gradually coming together for us.”
“It was a strong bench and I’m sure there will be people looking at it and wondering why certain players aren’t starting.” “But I’ve always been one to keep players in the team if they have the shirt and they are performing well.”
“I will have some hard decisions to make but it’s good to have that problem rather than injuries picking the team for you.” “We’ve got a busy time coming up so it’s important to have as many of the lads available.”
Steven Taylor cannot get back into the side simply because Sebastien Bassong is playing so very well, and Mark Viduka is not fully fit yet. Irishman Damien Duff will need to fight for his place back from young Frenchman Charles N’Zogbia too.
But it’s good to see the bench getting strong again, and come the end of January it should be even stronger, once Joe has done his work in the transfer market, with the help of Dennis Wise.
We even expect an unchanged side for the game against Tottenham on Sunday because after such a good team performance yesterday, it would be unfair if any player lost their place.