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Pardew allays Gouffran injury fears

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew expects Yoan Gouffran to return to training next week following an injury scare against Tottenham.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew expects Yoan Gouffran to return to training next week following an injury scare against Tottenham.

The former Bordeaux man was taken to hospital after a challenge from Kyle Walker left him with an ugly gash in his shin, but Pardew expects his January arrival to be back in action soon.

Pardew told the club’s official website: “That’s all good news, fortunately. We think he’ll train on Monday.”

The 51-year-old believes Newcastle’s recent good form in the Premier League means they can try their hardest to also succeed in Europe as they prepare to host Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

“Although we know we’re still in a situation where we need to win Premier League games, it gives us a little bit of breathing space to attack this competition which we’ve always had in our mind that we could do that,” he said.

“We left it late to win two out of the last three but at least we got there in the end. It gives us a platform, and we’ve got a squad that’s so much bigger. Even if we had some injuries now, we can cover them whereas before we didn’t have that luxury.

“So we can enter the rest of this competition with a strong hand.

“We’re going up a level in terms of opposition. No disrespect to Bordeaux, who won our group, but I think Metalist are a little bit stronger than them and this is a huge test for us.

“I think being at home in the second leg is always an advantage – you’ve got the possibility of extra time and penalties on your home ground – but I think the advantage we may have is we don’t have a game at the weekend.

“That helps us enormously.”

Wed 13 February, 2013
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