Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce hopes to plug the gaps in his leaky Newcastle United defense in Saturdayâ€™s game with Blackburn Rovers.
And Big Sam is confident he will have his central defenders Abdoulaye Faye and Steven Taylor, both back in his squad to face Mark Hughes side.
Taylor and Faye were ruled out of Saturdayâ€™s horror show against Liverpool â€“ and they very were badly missed.
Abdoulaye Faye – powerful defender was missed on Saturday
After picking up the North East Football Writers Association Young Player of the Year award on Sunday night, Taylor travelled to Leeds yesterday to see a specialist about the back injury he aggravated while playing for England Under-21s last week.
And Taylor is upbeat about his chances of returning at Ewood Park. Faye is also ready to return from the hamstring problem he picked up in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light earlier this month, where he had an outstanding game, at least in the first half.
Sam Allardyce must be pleased he has Faye and Taylor back for Saturday as he said on Tuesday:
â€œI hope to have some players back from injury at Blackburn â€“ Abdoulaye Faye and Steven Taylor from a defensive point of view.
â€œWeâ€™ll see how he goes this week, but weâ€™re hoping we may get Abdoulaye back for the weekend.
â€œHeâ€™s a big player for us in defense. Heâ€™s a powerful in the air and has the presence we need.â€
Meanwhile, United are hoping Michael Owen could be looking at a three to four-week absence rather than the feared six-week lay-off after he tore a thigh muscle playing for England in Austria a week past Friday.
The Chester-born striker is due back from Germany this week and the hope is that he can back into the Newcastle scene sooner rather than later. However, Allardyce is not just concerned with those in the treatment room.Â He admits that striker Mark Viduka and mdifielder Joey Barton are still far from fit and are not showing good form at the moment, after recovering from their respective injuries.
Barton has not got anywhere near the kind of form he is capable of since arriving at St Jamesâ€™s Park and was left on the bench on Saturday. Viduka has also not looked 100% match fit in his last two games against Sunderland and Liverpool after also coming back from injury.
This led Allardyce to say:
â€œWe have to work the players through the week and try and pick up their sharpness.
â€œThere are still players, like Mark Viduka and Joey Barton, who have not had a lot of games to pick up their sharpness. We have to keep working at that.â€
We need all players who will be in the squad on Saturday to understand just how important this game is. Football is a very strange game and good runs start at the most unlikely of times., Let’s hope we can start one at Ewood Park on Saturday.
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