Roeder to plead with Oba
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Glenn Roeder wants Obafemi Martins to sit out Nigeria's upcoming friendly with Ghana.
Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder is set to plead with striker Obafemi Martins to sit out Nigeria's upcoming friendly with Ghana.
With Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi long-term absentees, Martins has been the focal point of Newcastle's attack this term.
Martins has taken on the challenge with relish, but he has played nearly 30 games this term and Roeder does not want to overface the forward.
Nigeria face Ghana in a friendly at Brentford's Griffin Park early next month, with the game sandwiched between Premiership clashes with Fulham and Liverpool.
Roeder is fearful of Martins picking up an injury and leaving Newcastle scratching round for alternatives.
"It is only a friendly and Nigeria cannot insist on Oba playing. And because he has had so much football this season I will be asking him not to play against Ghana," said Roeder.
"He has already played nearly 30 games for us, and he has probably played more matches this season than at any time in his career.
"He is a great lad and I am sure he will understand the situation because we are a bit thin on the ground for strikers and we do not want the risk of losing him."