Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Allardyce Is Backing His Defender

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Allardyce Is Backing His Defender

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER

SAM Allardyce has backed Claudio Cacapa to emerge stronger from his nightmare experience at St James's Park on Saturday.

The centre-back was substituted after just 17 minutes of the 4-1 defeat to Portsmouth having been at fault for Portsmouth's second and third goals. Both were similar in that first Benjani Mwaruwari, then John Utaka outpaced the 31-year-old, then shrugged him off the ball to go one-on-one with Steve Harper.

But Allardyce believes the man capped three times by Brazil is experienced enough to deal with his traumatic display, and learn the lessons of it.

"Claudio will pick himself up," said the 53-year-old former central defender. "He was looking a little laboured, that is why I made the early change. He has enough experience to accept he has made some mistakes. When you wake up on Sunday morning you can kid as much as you like to everyone else but when you look in the mirror you can't kid him, can you? …

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