Date: 29th January 2009 at 7:51pm
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With Michael Owen and Joey Barton expected to be out for at least two months each and Barton needing an operation, Newcastle fans should be getting down on their knees and starting to pray. Unless you actually want to go and watch them play Blackpool or Scunthorpe next year.

With so many key positions in the squad poorly filled at the moment, another long-term absence for Barton is a huge blow. Say what you like about his past misdemeanours, Barton’s midfield energy and impetus has been badly missed in recent weeks, with trooper Nicky Butt giving his all but not being able to hide the fact that he’s a yard too slow to play 90 minutes every week at the top level.

Owen’s injury casts yet another cloud on proceedings. Who else is going to score the goals that keep us up? He may have only scored once in his last seven games, but aside from Obafemi Martins, Owen is the only player at the club that’s really looked like he knows what he’s doing when in sight of goal this season.

Yes Andy Carroll has been promising in recent weeks but how much can be expected from a player who has made just five senior starts in his career so far? Such inexperience can’t be expected to keep a Premiership team afloat.

We desperately need to sign a saviour in the next three days – not another Xisco.