Both Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul are trying to get back playing as soon as possible and it looks good with Tim, since he trained all week, and according to the manager – he trained very well.
Tim Krul – trained well all week
But it’s not so promising news for the captain, who is still feeling some pain in his back, and Coloccini is still maybe three weeks away from playing, but it’s being reported in the Evening Chronicle that Cheick Tiote, Davide Santon and Mathieu Debuchy are not long-term injury problems, although they are not in the squad today for the tough Manchester City game.
And 20 year-old left-back Massadio Haidara could even be starting the game in Lisbon on Thursday night, when Newcastle play Benfica in the first leg of the quarter finals of the Europa League – and that would be terrific news.
Alan is making no bones about the fact that this is an important time of the season for his team:
“This is the business end of the season – make no mistake.” “You’ve got to be at your best.” “We’ve had a lot of bad news. “When you think, we’ve got no Tim Krul, no Cheick and three of our full-backs out.”
“We’ve still had one of those seasons.” “It would be nice to have everybody fit for this game, but we haven’t.” “It’s going to be like that. I’ve said that all along – it hasn’t changed.”
“Tim’s trained all week, and trained well, but there’s been no game-related stuff.” “Colo’s not really in consideration for this weekend.” “He still feels a bit uncomfortable, so we think he’s two or three weeks away.”
“It’s just nice to have him in and around the building with the experience and everything else he brings.” “This is potentially a week where we could make a significant move forward in both competitions.”
“If we could get three or four points, I’d take that now, and a positive result in Benfica to get a full house for the return leg.” “I think Benfica would find that difficult. I’m really looking forward to it.”
“You can tell there’s a buzz around the place.” “We need a good performance today first and foremost.”
It seems that only Coloccini is still some weeks away from returning to the side, with the other players out with only short-term injuries, and that’s good news.
Alan Pardew has also said that Ben Arfa may even play again this season, but our view is that if the Frenchman needs surgery on his back, he should have it now – to ensure he is fit and ready to go in pre-season.
But of course he’s such a great player that Newcastle could really use him, especially if we reach the semi-finals of the Europa League.
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