No punishment for Martins

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Newcastle manager Alan Shearer will not take disciplinary action against Obafemi Martins, despite doubts over the injury which forced his late withdrawal from the squad to face Stoke on Saturday.

Striker Martins was a surprise omission from the 18 on duty ahead of the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium with a groin injury but it was rumoured that the Nigerian had overslept and fabricated the injury.

Dismissing the threat of disciplinary action, Shearer said: "No, he didn't sleep in at all. That's not true. We met just after 11 o'clock, so he never broke any curfews or anything like that."

He added: "He rang up and said he had a sore groin and unable to play," said Shearer.

"We got the doctors and physios to go and have a look at him, and he couldn't play. But there was no evidence earlier in the week he had the injury.

"After working on a particular system over the previous few days, then it was obviously disappointing to find out so late in the day he couldn't make it, so we had to reshuffle the pack a little."

Asked whether he believed Martins' story, Shearer said: "You have to," only to then underline his displeasure at the situation.

"I wasn't happy I got the call at 11 o'clock, particularly after we had trained all Thursday and Friday, had massages Friday evening, and there was no sign of it.

"But it's happened and we're hopeful it's not going to be too serious because he has a big part to play."

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Stoke City
Premier League
Alan Shearer
Obafemi Martins

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