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TOON'S IRISH PAIR HOPING FOR RUN-OUT NEXT MONTH

IRISH DUO Leon Best and Robert Elliot could get a run-out with Newcastle United before the end of the season as the Magpies close in on a top-four finish, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.

Senior international Best has not played for the United first team since he suffered a knee injury in February but he has resumed fill training following surgery and was an unused sub for last week's Premier League win over Stoke City.

And boss Alan Pardew will now decide whether to take a chance on some of the players who have come back from injury in their clash with Wigan on Saturday as Best, Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux are all "in the frame"

"We've had four or five come back. It's almost like a cup final was around the corner when everybody's suddenly fit," said Pardew. At times, you just want to contribute. You might feel it (the injury) still, but you want to be back. We're getting everyone back, and with another week's training for Marveaux and Obertan they'll be in the frame.

"We're in a great position. We've got to try and play the best we can in the four games left."

Pardew is also monitoring his goalkeeping situation as a back problem placed a question mark over Tim Krul last weekend - and that would have handed a Premier League debut to former Irish youth cap Elliot.

"I wouldn't have hesitated with Rob Elliot," said Pardew when asked if he was ready to put Elliot into the side if Krul was ruled out.

Former Charlton man Elliot, 25, was capped just once by Ireland at underage level, playing in an U19 international against Slovenia in Dublin in 2004.


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