Sport Soccer

Sunday 22 April 2018

Defensive dilemma for Newcastle

Newcastle midfielder Vurnon Anita, pictured, and utility man Ryan Taylor could be pressed into service as emergency defenders
Newcastle midfielder Vurnon Anita, pictured, and utility man Ryan Taylor could be pressed into service as emergency defenders

Vurnon Anita and Ryan Taylor could be pressed into service as emergency defenders as Newcastle head coach John Carver faces a potential crisis.

Paul Dummett left Selhurst Park on crutches after last week's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Crystal Palace and seems certain to miss Saturday's trip to Manchester City with a knee injury at the very least.

That would leave Carver with just four fit senior defenders - Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini and Massadio Haidara - with Steven Taylor out for the remainder of the season with an Achilles problem.

The situation has been exacerbated by the Magpies' decision to allow central defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to complete a permanent move to Roma after a successful loan spell and full-back Davide Santon's temporary move back to former club Inter Milan.

In addition, Remie Streete and Kevin Mbabu were among the five young players loaned to Rangers, removing further options.

However, Carver remains confident in midfielder Anita, who was used by former boss Alan Pardew at right-back at times, and in utility man Ryan Taylor, who has played in both full-back positions as well as in midfield for the club.

There was disquiet on Tyneside during the summer when the club failed to recruit another central defender having decided Yanga-Mbiwa did not fit the bill, and Ryan Taylor's injury, which came in the 3-3 New Year's Day draw with Burnley, further depleted their resources.

However, they did not address the situation during the January window either, while allowing Yanga-Mbiwa and Santon to leave, and the subsequent loss of left-back Dummett, who has also been used in the middle at times this season, has left Carver with little room for manoeuvre.

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport