Date: 12th April 2009 at 9:36am
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Newcastle United manager Alan Shearer was bitterly disappointed to have lost Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins due to injury only hours before the crunch clash against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

United only managed a draw in the crucial fixture, courtesy of a towering Andy Carroll header which Shearer branded as ‘simply fantastic.’

The Toon boss was however critical of Martins’ injury stating that the whole setup of the team, the strategy and the formation had to be changed in a couple of hours with the team losing every bit of tactical preparation they had committed to throughout the week.

‘I disappointed to have lost him [Martins] at such a late stage. We could not even change things around at that point. You prepare all week for the match, you train in a certain way, and go about your game accordingly and if an injury comes on match day like this, it changes everything,’ said a very critical Shearer.

‘Possibly we could have won the game if Martins had been fit,’ added the 38-year-old.

‘I was disappointed it took until 11 o’clock to sort out the injury in the first place.

‘There was no evidence earlier in the week that he had the injury. It was disappointing that after two days of practicing a system, we weren’t able to implement it.

‘He just said he woke up late and had a sore groin, the medical staff saw him and he wasn’t fit to play. We’ve asked him to explain it, and we’ll look at him further in the morning.