Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Allardyce delighted by Owen scoring return
Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce saw his fit-again strikers return in style as he launched his reign with a victory.
Michael Owen scored his first goal for the club since December 2005 and Shola
Ameobi claimed a double to see the Magpies to a 3-1 victory at battling
Owen had previously managed only 14 appearances for the club in the two
seasons since his £17million switch from Real Madrid, while Ameobi missed most
of the last campaign after undergoing surgery on the hip injury which had
hampered him for more than 18 months.
Allardyce said: 'It was nice to see Michael score and Shola - we should have
scored a couple at least before half-time and missed those, but certainly,
second half, we were very, very clinical indeed.
'It's been a long wait for Michael and Shola. He has been out with that hip
injury for a long time as well.
'We just hope we keep them fit and get them fitter and stronger as pre-season
goes on because they are a handful for anybody in the Premier League if they are
firing on all cylinders, certainly with their finishing qualities.
'That gives us options for goals. That's what you need to win football
Ameobi struck within 11 minutes of his half-time introduction alongside Owen,
rounding goalkeeper Jan Budtz following Kieron Dyer's pass, to cancel out James
Brown's excellent 49th-minute opener.
His strike partner needed just two more minutes to find the back of the net,
tapping in from James Troisi's cross after Dyer had once again opened up the
Ameobi wrapped up the victory 17 minutes from time when Budtz spilled his
The game saw impressive debuts from £5.8million midfielder Joey Barton, who
played as if it was the opening day of the new Barclays Premier League season,
and defender David Rozehnal.
The Czech international, a £2.89million signing from Paris St Germain, looked
assured and Allardyce is confident he will quickly get up to speed with English
He said: 'David looked very comfortable on the ball and as time ticks on and
the competition becomes stiffer, he will get more of a test.
'David is going to be fine. He is an intelligent man and a really dedicated
'If he learns as quickly as he needs to, he will be okay. We have seen he is
a talented footballer as well as a good defender.'