Most Newcastle fans were disappointed we couldn’t bring in more new players during the January transfer window, but there’s good news today in that strikers Oba Martins and Mark Viduka will be fit for the vital relegation clash at WBA this Saturday.
Martins and Viduka both back for Saturday
Kinnear will also welcome back Alan Smith, yet another striker, into his squad for Saturday’s game at The Hawthorns. Smith has yet to score his first competitive goal for Newcastle – hey maybe that will come on Saturday.
However, our best performing striker of late has been 20 year-old Andy Carroll, so it will be interesting who Joe selects to start on Saturday. Ameobi is also fit so there’s 5 strikers now fit, with only Michael Owen still missing through injury.
We’d like to see a Carroll – Martins partnership start the game, and with the knock-downs Andy gets, and his sheer physical presence, it should help Martins get some chances.
Martins has been missing since suffering a groin injury scoring Newcastle’s second goal in our only away win in the league this season – the 3-0 win at Portsmouth in mid-December. Let’s hope we can change that stat at WBA on Saturday.
Mark Viduka (also groin), who has been at the club for 19 months but started only 20 games, has been in the treatment room again, since limping out of the Boxing Day defeat at Wigan.
Mark will need several games to get back in the swing of things before he gets injured again. 🙁
But he can still help Newcastle if he can score a few goals for us in the run-in, and Mark’s contract will not be renewed in the summer, we’re sure of that – he’s just injured far too much.
Kinnear will be pleased to welcome back 3 experienced players to his squad after getting another 3 good players in during January, so there will be a little more competition for the squad places.
The big question we have is how is Joe going to try to keep his players fit and uninjured through the end of the season?
Joe said today:
“It gives us a bit more fire power for West Brom,” “I know it’s an old cliche, but it’ll be like having three new players back.”
“Of course, we were desperately disappointed not to come away with more new signings, but myself and Mike Ashley worked hard throughout the day to try to make it happen.”
“But, in welcoming back Oba, Viduka and Smithy, we have three fresh faces in the dressing room to pick from.”
“I’ve been unable to pick Smithy since coming in as manager, and I’m delighted to get the opportunity to do so now.”
“I have always rated Smithy very highly, and he’ll bring in the battling qualities we need at the moment.”
“He works his socks off in training and in games as well. He wears his heart on his sleeve ,and that’s what you need when you are up against it.”
We don’t rate Smith very highly, but we know he’s a smashing lad, and since Joe has shown he can get the best out of his players, we really hope he can get better form out of Smith, than we’ve seen from him so far at Newcastle. We think that’s a distinct possibility and that will help us big time in our fight against relegation.
Smith is a much better player than he’s shown since arriving on Tyneside in the summer of 2007, that’s a fact.
Smudge has so far appeared 37 times for Newcastle with 30 starts, but has yet to appear for us this season.