Thursday 23 November 2017

Four return for Newcastle

Paul Dummett could return for Newcastle against Stoke
Paul Dummett could return for Newcastle against Stoke

Newcastle head coach John Carver has received a series of injury boosts ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Stoke.

Defender Paul Dummett (hamstring) and midfielders Gabriel Obertan (thigh) and Ryan Taylor (knee) are fit and will be included in the squad, while striker Papiss Cisse has a week's training under his belt following his return from the African Nations Cup with Senegal.

Midfielders Siem de Jong (thigh) and Rolando Aarons (hamstring) need a little more time, however.

Newcastle will welcome Stoke to St James' having marked Carver's installation as Alan Pardew's interim replacement until the end of the season with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Hull, the first since he took temporary charge last month.

He said: "I actually went home and had a cup of tea and chip butty, that's how I celebrated. But you build on it now by getting successive wins. That's what we are aiming for."

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross has been ruled out of action for up to three weeks with a back injury.

Shawcross had to come off in the first half of last Saturday's 3-1 win over QPR at the Britannia Stadium because of the problem.

Manager Mark Hughes said: "Unfortunately Ryan will be missing now for a couple of weeks.

"That is a big disappointment for us because he is obviously an important player for us and the captain, so he will be a miss.

"We do have other players who are capable of filling in though, so it is a chance for them to come in and make a mark - just as they have done in the past."

Jon Walters, who scored a hat-trick in the QPR game, is a doubt ahead of Sunday's league trip to Newcastle due to a knee problem which has prevented him training this week, although Hughes is hopeful the forward will be available.

The Potters tried before Monday's deadline passed to bring in Tottenham's Aaron Lennon, who instead opted to join Everton on loan. The Staffordshire outfit were told the winger felt he had a better chance of getting first-team football with the Merseyside outfit.

Hughes says he had "a couple of targets" that did not materialise into completed deals, but has also emphasised there is a greater focus on making the most of this summer's window.

Asked if he had been biding his time until summer, Hughes said: "Yes, there is a little bit of that in our thinking.

"It is difficult to get the quality you are really looking for (in the winter window).

"You can put things in place and have conversations that maybe are put to one side and you revisit in the summer when there is less time constraint on your dealings, which can help.

"We have got resources to go into the market, but we'll do it when we think we've got a real opportunity to get the ones we really want - and if it means we have to wait a little bit longer, then so be it."

Press Association

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