Roeder backing for Emre
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Glenn Roeder insists he is delighted to have Emre fit and available again.
Glenn Roeder is ready to put his faith in Emre when Newcastle United tackle AZ Alkmaar in the Uefa Cup on Thursday.
Emre has been sidelined for Newcastle's last 11 games with a calf injury and during his absence he has been hit with a Football Association charge of using racially aggravated words and/or behaviour against Everton in December.
The Turkish midfielder is now being investigated over a separate allegation of racism towards Watford's Al Bangura, but he is back in the squad for the clash against AZ.
Roeder has been impressed with how Emre has handled the accusations and is backing him to turn in a good performance if selected.
"Emre is much more relaxed, he is very happy within himself," Roeder explained.
"Initially it was big shock to the system, but he is fine now. Over the past month, he has shown a lot of mental strength and toughness, which is what I would expect from someone who has come from Istanbul and played for Galatasaray, where you need to be mentally strong.
"He wants to play. He has been very frustrated with this calf injury he picked up, which has taken a lot longer to heal than we thought.
"You see all the quality Emre has in terms of technical ability, the ability when he has the ball at his feet, and his ability to see runners and find them with the perfect pass.
"We are delighted to have him fit."
Newcastle will be presented with a plaque ahead of the AZ game for their success in the Intertoto Cup.
The Magpies have been deemed to have won the Intertoto Cup as they have survived longer in the Uefa Cup than any of the other entrants.
And Roeder said: "It is not to be mocked. If there was no Intertoto Cup competition, we would not be here today.
"We needed that competition to get into the Uefa Cup and it would be terribly disrespectful, no matter how small a competition is, to knock it.
"If there is a plaque to be given, why not give it to Newcastle? I am sure Scott Parker will be very happy to accept it."