Big Sam on EMO
It`s all smiles from Big Sam today as he revels in the fact we`ve got the hottest striker in the country at the moment. After notching his fifth goal in four games the boss was quick to offer up his opinion on our main hope for the run to Europe. Speaking out he said:
'It was absolutely terrific. I suppose in many ways, they were not the sort of goals Michael regularly scores, but it was absolutely fantastic technique and wonderful execution with such poise and calmness. That's the reason Michael is such a great goalscorer - he is at his calmest when he is actually putting the ball in the back of the net, where most players lose their composure.
That's why they are not goalscorers like Michael Owen. They were terrific goals. They have given us a boost as a club and given England two great results to push and hopefully qualify for Euro 2008.
I just hope it continues from here on now. It's been an absolutely fantastic couple of weeks for Michael and the England camp. It's a terrific couple of wins. Michael scored against Barnsley in the cup, he scored against Wigan, he then scored against Israel and then scores two against Russia, which is probably one of the hardest teams in that group.
To come back with that sort of confidence under his belt and no injury problems is a great, great boost for us all, particularly me, the rest of the players and everybody concerned with Newcastle United. I hope it continues on from here and he has recovered enough to continue where he has left off with England at Derby on Monday.
The last thing we would want now is Michael to pick up another injury through fatigue, but I hope that's not the case. The excitement of just being free from injury and playing and scoring has got Michael's adrenaline really pumped up. He feels he wants to get out there and feel like his old self again, and I am sure coming back today, that's exactly how he feels. But he can still get better. He has still got a lot to do in terms of his rehabilitation.
He has to be disciplined in the fact that things are going well now, but he still has to do his exercises on his own, he still has to keep up his rehab on his own over and above what we do on a day-to-day basis to make sure he stays stronger and fitter than he has ever been before. If that's the case, he can continue to score goals, hopefully not just for England, but for Newcastle United.'