Date: 21st October 2005 at 2:49pm
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Graeme Souness in last chance saloon? Well, according to the manager, the club are hoping that a change of training grounds will end the string of players picking up hamstring injuries over the past twelve months or so. Owen is the latest to go down with a hamstring and is a major doubt for Sunday’s clash with Sunderland.

Souness concedes: ‘It’s going to be touch and go for the weekend. He felt a bit of tightness in his hamstring. Given the history of the hamstrings here, we cannot take a risk on it. If we felt he was going to damage it further, we couldn’t play him on Sunday but we are still hoping he can.’

Having looked at all the potential reasons, it seems the current theory is the pitches at the training ground are the main reason.

The under pressure Newcastle manager said: ‘It’s a last resort we feel. The so-called experts have been offering an opinion on what we should be doing or not be doing. We have been doing it for a very long time and have some extremely qualified people who advise us on what we should be doing.’

Explaining:

‘It is down to the pitches we train on, and that includes the stadium as well – that is the crux of our problem. We have decided to move up to the academy where the pitches are soil-based and heavier, if you like, and not as firm and that will help us enormously we feel.’