Some decent news this morning in that both Joey Barton and Mark Viduka are likely to resume full training very soon, with Mark back next week.
Joey Barton – back in full training very soon
Newcastle will not have Mark Viduka and Joey Barton available for the trip to Stoke City on Saturday, although it looks like the Australian is likely to be back in full training by the middle of next week.
Alan Shearer told the Newcastle Journal this morning:
“Mark is going well and his fitness is improving,” “At the moment he’s working with the physios but if all goes according to plan then he could return to full training by the middle of next week.”
“At this moment in time he is going well but he is one we are continuing to monitor him.”
Shearer has again said that he thinks the Stoke game will be a huge test of character for his squad – and Alan thinks it will be every bit as difficult as the Chelsea game, as he continued:
“It will be our next test of character.”
“It will be a totally different test to the Chelsea game, but certainly it will be every bit as tough, we know that for sure,”
No specific new news about Joey Barton today, although we do know that Alan had a long talk with the player following the Newcastle Reserves game against Manchester City on Monday night. We don’t know what Alan thinks of Barton’s escapades he has got himself into, although he will not be impressed.
And it’s a good question as to whether Alan will want to keep the former Manchester City player if he becomes the long-term manager at Newcastle in the summer.
But of course right now, we are just hoping that Joey can get himself fit quickly, and get back into the squad to help the team out.
Newcastle have to start getting some results because the longer we go on this horrible run – 2 points in the last 6 games, not only do we fall further behind other teams, but the players will get into a mental slump, and start to think we are going down.
That’s one reason why a turnaround in form and a win will be vital on Saturday, if we are to survive this season, as time is quickly running out.