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By ESPN Staff
Feb 13, 2008

Martins joy at joining Keegan revolution

Striker Obafemi Martins is desperate to play a part in Kevin Keegan's attempt to revive Newcastle. The 23-year-old Nigerian is yet to play for the club's new manager after missing his first four games in charge because of the African Nations Cup, and the fifth with an ankle injury. Now Martins is hoping to be fit enough to be considered for next Saturday's daunting Premier League clash with Manchester United as the Magpies attempt to stop themselves being dragged into the fight for survival. The £10million signing from Inter Milan could only look on from afar at the rapture with which Keegan was welcomed back to Tyneside, and although the former England boss is still waiting for his first victory, Martins is looking forward to working with him. The striker said: 'He did a lot for Newcastle and all the fans love him. That's why they brought him back here. 'They call him the king, so I think it is very good. 'It is very good for him as well, and the players are going to try to play for him and try our best just to make him proud.' Martins remains the club's top scorer this season with seven goals to date, one ahead of England international Michael Owen, who has scored in each of his last two games. However, he will do well to get anywhere near the 17 he managed during his first campaign at St James' Park with only 12 games remaining and Newcastle facing something of a crisis. The club's wait for a league win dates back to December 15, a run of nine games that has brought only three points. But Nigeria international Martins is determined to put his African Nations Cup disappointment behind him - his country went out to hosts Ghana in the quarter-finals - by helping the Magpies out of a hole, injury permitting. He said: 'I am sure everything will be okay. Let's wait and see. 'I think Kevin is very busy at the moment, but he had the doctor call me to see if I am okay. 'Everything has changed. We have a new manager and he will have changed a lot of things. 'It is not a problem for me to go back and focus on starting playing.'