Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kinnear Won't Use Excuses; United Boss Loves Long Odds

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kinnear Won't Use Excuses; United Boss Loves Long Odds

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayne

HE will be attempting to take on perhaps the world's richest football club without the captain and top scorer of a squad he believes is five players light anyway but, having made his name in management by succeeding against the odds, Joe Kinnear is in no mood to complain.

When he became Newcastle United's interim manager three weeks ago, Kinnear expected Monday's Premier League game at home to Manchester City to mark the day when his injury list became manageable. But the return of Habib Beye and possibly Jonas Gutierrez and Obafemi Martins has been overshadowed by a groin strain for Newcastle's most influential player, Michael Owen.

Constant injuries have been the bane of many a Magpies manager. While many have complained about their misfortune (often preceded by the phrase "I'm not making excuses but . . ."), Kinnear refuses to.

"I would love to be in a situation where I could send out my best side but no one is crying about that," he said. "We have to get on with the team we have, get behind them and do the best we can irrespective of so many key players missing." Owen, who has scored five of nited's 11 goals this season, has been ruled out of Monday's match and his recovery will need to come towards the start of the seven to 10-day prognosis if he is to face Sunderland next week. Mark Viduka and Alan Smith, Ignacio Gonzalez (all Achilles) and Andy Carroll (ankle) are also missing from a squad widely acknowledged to be too weak to withstand a Premier League campaign. Joey Barton is serving the last match of his suspension for violent conduct.

Kinnear, though, is used to it after establishing Wimbledon as one of English football's top sides on tiny gates.

"I've gone into battle like that lots of times at Wimbledon," he argued.

"We went to Chelsea, won 4-2 there (in 1996), stuff like that with a lot of young players. …

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