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Pardew: Newcastle at 'critical'stage with injuries

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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Newcastle's injury problems have hit "critical" ahead of tonight's visit to Burnley.

That was the assessment of manager Alan Pardew, who will take a threadbare squad to Turf Moor due to fitness problems and suspensions.

Goalkeeper Tim Krul, captain Fabriccio Coloccini and Rolando Aarons are all injured, while Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson and Massadio Haidara all face late fitness tests.

With Moussa Sissoko being sent off against West Ham on Saturday and Jack Colback having collected his fifth booking of the campaign, the Magpies are likely to be severely underpowered.

"It's critical, I would say, in terms of the spine of the team," said Pardew.

"There's no Tim, no Moussa, no Jack who would all probably start if they were fit. We're taking 22 players to Burnley, and three of them are youth-team players."

BELEAGURED

Pardew declined to blame sheer bad luck for the beleagured state of his squad.

Instead, he suggested the growing intensity of life in the Barclays Premier League - on the training park as well as on a matchday - is leaving players vulnerable. "We're carrying a lot of injuries at the moment, but I think all Premier League teams go through that," he said.

"I think the way we play and the way we train in the Premier League, not just us, is putting more players at risk of injury because we're really at the very edge of the physical capabilities of players.

"On top of that they get taken away on internationals, where we've lost so many players this season."

Williamson, Haidara and Janmaat will all make the trip to Burnley before a final decision is made on their availability but if the news is not good Pardew could be forced to hand either Remie Streete or Lubomir Satka a debut.

Streete was last seen on loan at Port Vale in November, while 18-year-old Slovakian Satka has yet to play a professional game.

The Clarets did not get their first win of the season until November 8 and that upturn in fortunes has matched that of star striker Danny Ings, who has responded to an injury-interrupted start to the season by scoring four times in the last five games.

The 22-year-old has been linked with the Magpies in the past and with his contract up at the end of the season, more speculation is sure to follow if he keeps up his scoring streak tonight at Turf Moor.


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