Emre Close to Turkey Return

The Journal (Newcastle, England), September 30, 2005 | Go to article overview
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Emre Close to Turkey Return

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Emre may be allowed to play for Turkey a week on Wednesday, despite being ruled out of action for Newcastle United tomorrow.

The former Inter Milan and Galatasaray midfielder has had a stop-start opening to his Magpies career, courtesy of a hamstring injury picked up on international duty in Sofia. The problem will keep him out of tomorrow's Premiership game at Portsmouth.

Emre's initial injury prompted a tirade from his new club manager, Graeme Souness, against "mickey mouse" games but the Scot is nonetheless willing to allow Emre to turn out for his country next month.

By the time of the October 12 match he will not have played a game of any description for more than six weeks. "I have had a talk with him and his advisor and he is not fit or available for us this Saturday," Souness confirmed.

"But I have said if he stays here and trains well without any trouble and Turkey's game against Albania in 10 days' time is still important and means something, I will let him travel with a view to playing."

Souness' stance appears to be a compromise designed to keep his summer signing out of another "mickey mouse" match. Emre will not be involved when Turkey face their biggest rivals, Germany, in an Istanbul friendly a week tomorrow.

"We don't want him playing too early for us and in my opinion the friendly against Germany in a week does come too early," Souness said. "He has no trouble with that." There seems little prospect of Turkey's World Cup qualifier in Tirana not being of huge importance to the nation which finished third at the last finals.

The Turks are currently second in Group Two and could be third by Saturday night if European Champions Greece beat Denmark in Copenhagen, their game in hand on Fatih Terim's side.

Turkey are already four points behind group leaders Ukraine, who play Albania on October 8 and may find themselves competing to be one of the best second-place sides in the European groups, avoiding the need for a play-off to qualify for Germany.

Emre has already had one attempted comeback cut short by injury after being forced off the field 22 minutes into last month's game with Manchester United.

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