Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Injuries Have Given Us a Reality Cheick; Magpies Aim to Fly High on Slender Resources

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Injuries Have Given Us a Reality Cheick; Magpies Aim to Fly High on Slender Resources

Article excerpt

NORWICH are supposed to be the respite after the trauma of a threegun blast from the Premier League heavyweights.

This is when United can start harvesting points again in a glorious season of over-achieving.

Except that, well, the Mags aren't exactly at full strength and their squad simply isn't deep enough to accommodate the ravages of injury.

The Magpies have built their campaign upon doughty defending, but first they lost their shield Cheick Tiote then their dual central defenders Stephen Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini were struck down.

Such luck leaves them vulnerable, without doubt, because their cover at the heart of the defence is nonexistent.

To lose Tayls and possibly Colo in one dreadful match is cruel and some burden to carry.

Under such circumstances it would have been something of a relief to have Tiote prowling just in front of the back four to help stem the tide.

Yet not only is that out of the question, but sturdy able deputy Danny Guthrie is now injured too.

James Perch, impetuous and always liable to a yellow card through mistimed or over-enthusiastic tackles, can either revive his SJP career, which has stalled, or confirm growing fears.

Who plays alongside Perch and how, if it is a rookie pair, they form a partnership is the great concern, of course.

Like any mariner cast adrift in high seas, Alan Pardew is clinging to a passing piece of flotsam, in this case the hope that somehow Captain Colo can rise from his bed, but if that is not the case then two men - Davide Santon and Tamas Kadar - are in the frame looking for a nod of approval.

Two players strangely overlooked so far and yet to make their first Premier League start despite the Italian costing a right few bob and Kadar being a Hungarian international central defender.

His standing is such that he hasn't even had a squad number.

If either cannot get in now when will they? Norwich play the game in the proper way and will spray the ball about to test a back four changed for the very first time this season when on Premier duty. …

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