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Newcastle boss Allardyce wants Martins to delay Nigeria move

Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce wants Obafemi Martins to duck out of Nigeria's pre-African Nations Cup get-together in January.

Martins' national coach Berti Vogts has ordered his players to report on January 4 for a training camp before the tournament begins on January 20.

That means Martins will miss two more games than expected for Newcastle - an FA Cup third-round tie and the Premier League trip to Manchester United on January 12.

"He (Vogts) wants them two weeks early - on about the 4th of January," admitted Allardyce. "I don't know whether I'm in a position to say no until I check up on it.

"But I would have thought that if Berti is saying it, he's within his rights to call them up two weeks beforehand.

"In that case, there would be little we could do, unless Oba does something about it.

"We had a similar problem at Bolton one year, but if there was one man that could pull strings to get an extra few days with his club, it was Jay-Jay Okocha.

"We ended up in the Carling Cup final because of that - Jay-Jay stayed for the first leg of the semi-final and scored two goals in a 5-2 win.

"That extra few days could be crucial for us. But if it's not within our rights, it lies with the discretion of the coach and his discussion with the individual player."

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Tribal Football Staff

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