Tim Krul has said that Newcastle’s January signings have given the club a real boost. Whilst Newcastle remain only four points above the relegation zone, there is an optimism around the club that suggest they are very much on a upward trajectory, and the keeper has put that down to mipact of players like Mathieu Debuchy, Moussa Sissoko and Yoann Gouffran coming into the club.
Newcastle will be without Gouffran and Debuchy for tonight’s match against Metalist Kharkiv due to their earlier involvement in the Europa League, but Alan Pardew has said he will field as strong a side as he can for the game. Pardew has previously played weakened teams in the tournament.
Cheick Tiote is expected to be available for the game despite being arrested on suspicion of fraud in relation to car offences. Tiote was stopped by police shortly after leaving Newcastle’s training complex.
Here on HITC Mathew Nash has taken a look at five Metalist players Newcastle will have to look out for this evening, with Cleiton Xavier standing out as a real threat for the Ukrainian side.
The Metalist Kharkiv coach has insisted that a 1-1 draw in a friendly with Northern League side Whitley Bay was not a blow to their preparations for the match, saying that the match was just part of training, and the result did not really matter. Whitley’s manager Ian Chandler has praised Metalist for playing the match said that Newcastle might need to get a good home lead in order to progress through the tie.
Elsewhere on HITC this week we have looked at whether Newcastle have done better business by signing Yoann Gouffran rather than Loic Remy, with the former making an impressive start to his career at St James’ Park. We also have an article discussing how Alan Pardew should try and get Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa into his first eleven, and a piece questioning whether Papiss Cisse has been a disappointment this season. Also on the site Lewis Doe has a look at which of Newcastle’s new signings dreams of joining Arsenal.
Fabricio Coloccini has spoken about the reasons that made him try and force a move away from Newcastle in January, saying that he didn’t have any regrets over his actions, including the open letter he wrote to San Lorenzo fans expressing disappointment he couldn’t return to Argentina:
"I didn't regret it because I think that family is first. I think that I did everything and I wrote it in the letter.
"Sometimes third parties don't understand you or contracts become more important than feelings.”