Joe Kinnear has been forced to accept a New Year's ‘Special Gift', don't have enough fit players on his Newcastle squad that makes him cancel-out Toon normal training on the first days of 2009.
After Sunday's 5-1 Barclays Premier League defeat by Liverpool, the club's injury list has reached double figures and Joe admits that it's been more or less a case of cancelling training and wrapping all of his players, and see if he can get 11 players to be fit for Hull's match this weekend.
The only good news that Joe can cheers about is the French defender Sebastien Bassong will return from a one-match ban. Jose Enrique, Nicky Butt and Shola Ameobi all will have late fitness tests.
But Habib Beye will be sidelined for up to two months with a knee problem. Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins, Claudio Cacapa and Joey Barton are among them who has a long-term injuries.
The Toon boss, on his New Year's message said that he is keen to take Newcastle United to climb the Premier League table in 2009.
He feels that Newcastle side is still good enough to achieve a respectable position in the second period of the campaign despite all the lengthy injury list.
“I’m proud of what we have achieved so far, and I feel we can build on it.” He said, as quoted from the Chronicle, “I am only looking ahead and only look upwards, and I think we can get a respectable finish because this division is just so close.”
Meanwhile, Shay Given has insisted he is not going to leave the St James’s Park after serving the Toon for as long as 12 seasons. Shay is contracted with Newcastle until 2011.
According to a source close to the 32-year-old goalkeper, who told the Chronicle, Shay always given his all for Newcastle United, and that will never change.
Being frustrated at how things had gone on the pitch against Liverpool was the reason why he left the field so quickly, but to say he’s unhappy at Newcastle is 100 % wrong.
Another report suggesting that Inter Milan's coach Jose Mourinho could make a move for the Magpies’ skipper and was offering one of his players in a swap deal. Owen is now free to talk to other clubs, but insisted he wants to wait until the end of this season before making it clear about his future at Tyneside.