Alan Pardew wants Newcatsle to do well in the FA Cup this year, and will be fielding the strongest side he can tomorrow afternoon at Stevenage.
Tim Krul – gets another start tomorrow
But with all the injuries Newcastle players have picked up over the last 10 days, since the holiday season began on Boxing Day, the side will still be a weakened one.
Pardew seems concerned about the game against League Two club Stevenage tomorrow, but his side will necessarily now be significantly weakened by injuries:
“As Premier League managers you get criticized for resting players in the cup, and I’ve had it myself in reverse,”
“I played a weakened Premier League team before a quarter-final against Manchester City back in 2006.”
“We played at Portsmouth, lost that, then won the cup game. I want to play my strongest team but I’m not going to put anyone at risk.”
“One of the players I’m not going to put at risk is Cheick Tioté, who has got a slight tightness in his hamstring.”
“Would I play him if we were playing Sunderland this week? I might.” “Will I play him against Stevenage? Maybe not.”
Mike Williamson will come in for the injured Steven Taylor at center-back, who is nursing a hamstring strain, and Leon Best should also start the game.
22 year-old Tim Krul will be back in goal after losing his place to Steve Harper for the game at Wigan, and that’s because Steve Harper’s wife is expecting a baby at the weekend.
Well at least Alan and Steve have their priorities right! 😀