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WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 11 hours ago
Read
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct 28, 2008

Kinnear looks to Martins to kickstart season

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has ordered striker Obafemi Martins to become selfish as he attempts to end his personal goal drought.

Kinnear has turned his attention to the Nigeria international, who celebrates his 24th birthday today, after revitalising strike-partner Shola Ameobi.

Former England Under-21 international Ameobi has scored in each of his last two games for the club, although he could not prevent the Magpies from slipping to derby defeat at Sunderland on Saturday.

Martins has only one goal to his name so far in the current campaign, his strike in the season's opener at Manchester United, after being limited to only five appearances by groin and knee injuries.

But Kinnear is hoping he and Ameobi can put West Brom to the sword tonight to end a two-month wait for a second Barclays Premier League win of the campaign.

The 61-year-old said: "He is one of these lads who gets very frustrated with himself. He has got bags of ability, he just needs to get a few goals to kickstart his season.

"The thing with Oba is his unpredictability. If you see him in training, he fashions something out of nothing and you think, 'How did he do that?'.

"He is that type of player. He is not a link-up player or a team player. The ball goes up to him and you think, 'give it simple', and he will backheel it, run round the other side of the player and then lash it into the top corner.

"You say, 'Okay, that's not too bad, don't give it anymore, just keep doing that'.

"You just hope what he does on the pitch in training, he transforms into match days. That's the key to it, doing what he does on the training pitch on match days.''

With Michael Owen and Mark Viduka both missing through injury, Kinnear knows Martins and Ameobi remain his best hope for finding the goals his side need to climb away from the Barclays Premier League's relegation zone.

However, he has told the former Inter Milan frontman not to be afraid to miss, and not to pass if he gets a sniff of goal.

Kinnear said: "I said to him, 'If you can get used to isolating yourself one versus one on the last defender, don't pass it to anyone'. The only trouble is, I think he fights himself at times. He gets narked within.

"He is probably a bit hard on himself at times because of his standard. He questions himself, he is one of those players.

"He has one focus, and that is to stick the ball in the back of the net, we know that. We know we are not going to get the ball if he sniffs out that he is anywhere near the goal.

"If he is any shooting distance, he shoots.''

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