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Page last updated at 15:07 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 16:07 UK

Martins 'important to Newcastle'

Newcastle and Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins
Obafemi Martins has been told that he is a key part of Newcastle United

Newcastle's assistant manager Iain Dowie insists Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins is an integral part of the club's battle against relegation.

Martins was a late withdrawal from the Newcastle squad that drew 1-1 draw against Stoke City on Saturday.

Manager Alan Shearer was disappointed the striker only withdrew on the morning of the game with an injury.

"There hasn't been a falling out with Martins and the matter has been dealt with," Dowie told the club's website.

"It's gone and it's in the past and he has said he is fully behind the cause here.

"We never said there wasn't an injury .

"All Alan expressed was his disappointment was that he had not been told about the injury until 1115 on the Saturday morning, which was too late.

"It was disappointing that's all because we had been working on a system all week and then had to scrap it at the last minute because of the injury to Oba."

Dowie insists that the incident has now been forgotten

"There is no bad feeling," he said.

"He has gone away for a scan and hopefully the prognosis will be a good one and he will be back involved quickly because he is an important player for us.

"The communication should have been better but to be fair to Oba he was desperate to be involved and maybe that was why he kept quiet about the injury."

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see also
No disciplinary action for Martins
13 Apr 09 |  African
Shearer praise for Martins role
11 Apr 09 |  African
Martins praise for Newcastle fans
17 Mar 09 |  Newcastle
Martins makes Nigeria committment
06 Mar 09 |  African

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