Date: 24th March 2006 at 1:41pm
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Apparently Glenn Roeder has had a clear-the-air talk with Albert Luque – but the Spanish striker is still not in the Newcastle United squad for Sunday’s game.

Luque’s advisors and representatives, including his father, travelled to St James’ Park yesterday for a meeting with Freddy Shepherd and Roeder. This comes after the 28-year-old, £9.5m striker, who has only started eight games since moving to St James’ Park, has been left out of recent Roeder squads.

Roeder: ‘Both sides put their cards on the table and we had what can only be described as a positive meeting. Albert’s complaint is that in his own words he has not had enough minutes on the field.

‘He has admitted that as a result his confidence is low because he got off to the worst possible start with a hamstring injury which our physio Derek Wright says was as badly torn as he has ever seen. But what Albert has got to show me is that he is self-motivated and that he is physically fit to start although he admits he is not at this stage yet.

‘That’s why in the next couple of weeks we may see Albert in the reserves and I may organise some practice matches just for him.

‘But he has assured me that because people in Spain are asking him what is happening over here he wants to stay with us and become a success.’

But rumours from Newcastle suggest they would gladly let the player go if they can get back £9.5m.