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Newcastle United are expected to make a major impact under new manager Sam Allardyce this season, but with big money being demanded for players these days, Sam has been left frustrated by some of his transfer market moves - as well as the added blow of learning that he will be without key signing Joey Barton through injury for several weeks. Whilst expectations on Tyneside are high, probably higher than usual, the Newcastle boss has warned fans to be patient. Givemefootball's Lawrie Madden caught up with Big Sam for an exclusive interview.

 

Q YOU'VE HAD INJURY SETBACKS ALREADY - TO JOEY BARTON AND MICHAEL OWEN - WHAT'S THE SITUATION?

A: The injury to Joey - a broken metatarsal which required surgery - is a terrible blow for us, and the player. It didn't appear too serious at the time. There was no contact and he appeared to pull up sharply but it is quite a problem now and he will be out for 6-8 weeks. Michael's not as serious as he has a slight thigh injury he picked up doing a little shooting exercise, so we are taking a precautionary measure and leaving him out of the side at the moment.

 

Q: HOW LONG DO YOU ANTICIPATE MICHAEL BEING OUT?

A: Initially, we thought it would be no more than a week or ten days and he's bac in training again. It may actually be a little early for the Celtic match on Thursday, but Juventus on the Sunday is one we hope he can be fit for.

 

Q: HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT WILL BEFORE YOU CAN MAKE YOUR MARK, FULLY, AT THE CLUB?

A: Something like 18 months to two years. Players cannot retain all the information you want to give them so it is a long process. You impart key elements and then you re-introduce other elements which are less urgent later on. You bring in players as well to change the direction of the club. You want to make the players fitter, stronger and also work on them tactically and technically and make them more aware the size of a club like Newcastle.

 

Q: DO YOU FEEL THE PRESSURE OF EXPECTATION?

A: If you get a result at St James' it will be okay. If not then you will get disapproval. We live in a cauldron. The fans are enthusiastic but can be over critical but that's life. By getting more results in our favour that will make life easier. But the pressure on managers, coaches and players is massive nowadays and it is a concern of mine.

 

Q WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE TRANSFER MARKET THIS SUMMER?

A: The supply and demand influences the market. The supply for top quality players is increasing-you only have to look at how much Premiership players are going for. The money is the biggest in the history of football. It used to be the big boys who could afford it but there are others who are now getting involved.

 

Q WHERE ARE NEWCASTLE IN THAT EQUATION?

A: You look at Fulham and they have spent £20m, Wigan have spent £10m, Portsmouth have spent £20m, West Ham £20m and Spurs £30m. Newcastle would normally deal at this level but not at the moment but hopefully we will have the ability to do it again.

 

Q WHAT AREAS OF THE TEAM ARE YOUR MAIN CONCERN?

A: Really, it is the defence that concerns me most. I am working extremely hard in that department and I know that we need to improve this area of the team. I am aware that another day goes by and another target slips away either to another Premiership club or to Spain or Italy. I am looking to improve on next year. I am looking to put structures in place whereby we have consistency on a regular basis rather than doing well in a one-off season and then fall back. That may take a bit more time and that requires patience.

Edited by Baggio

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Newcastle would normally deal at this level but not at the moment but hopefully we will have the ability to do it again.

 

Slightly worrying, hopefully he's not saying that we'll not have significant funds during this transfer window.

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Newcastle would normally deal at this level but not at the moment but hopefully we will have the ability to do it again.

 

Slightly worrying, hopefully he's not saying that we'll not have significant funds during this transfer window.

 

That's the one quote that stood out to me, and really the only bit that's not been seen in other interviews.

 

You'd wonder if we're maybe working off the "pre-takeover" kitty, of say £15m or so. I hope when he says "hopefully we will have the ability to do it again", he doesn't mean in future seasons and means in the coming weeks!

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