Coleman ready for Owen effect
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chris Coleman is anticipating a fevered atmosphere at St James' Park on Saturday.Fulham boss Chris Coleman says he is anticipating a fevered atmosphere at St James' Park on Saturday as Michael Owen prepares to make his highly-anticipated debut for Newcastle.
Due to the disruption of the international break, Owen was denied the chance to make an immediate impression following his emotional unveiling in front of 20,000 fans, although Coleman's Cottagers will face the Toon Army in full voice when they witness the England star's bow in black and white.
The former Real Madrid man has been hailed as a saviour by Magpies fans disillusioned with the club's poor start to the season, although Coleman is fully aware that Newcastle also boast a host of other talented stars in their ranks.
"They've got a lot of good players like a lot of teams in The Premiership, filled with international class players," Coleman told Sky Sports News.
"Of course they've got fantastic strikers like (Alan) Shearer and Owen to name two, they'll be up for it.
"It'll be a noisy crowd excited at seeing Owen back in the country in black and white stripes.
"We've got to go up there and be brave and that's what I'll be telling the players."
Newcastle ended their lengthy pursuit of further attacking impetus as they added both Owen and Albert Luque to the squad over the summer, and one player they missed out on in the process was Fulham skipper Luis Boa Morte.
The Portuguese star is central to Coleman's plans and, after keeping hold of the player, the Fulham boss has praised his captain for his consistently impressive displays.
"You can count the amount of bad games he's had since I've been in charge on one hand and that's why he's captain," Coleman continued.
"He rarely misses a game, is very consistent and you never know what he is going to do next, so he's a thorn in the opposition's side."
The Cottagers have enjoyed a mixed start to the season with four points from four games, and Coleman is hoping his troops can avoid their usual slump following an international break.
"The game after we get the guys back from internationals we suffer.
"We've not won a game yet I think so it's definitely in the forefront of our minds.
"The guys know about it, we talked about it after Blackburn and we'll try and prepare a little different."