ALAN Pardew’s desperate to have Gabriel Obertan – and his pace – available to him again.
The Newcastle United winger could be back for Monday night’s visit to Fulham.
Obertan has been sidelined for several weeks with a toe problem.
However, Pardew’s hopeful he’ll be in the squad for the club’s televised game at Craven Cottage.
While Obertan, signed from Manchester United last year, is still to win over some United fans, Pardew is unequivocal about his value to his team, which has also missed the pace and vision of Hatem Ben Arfa in recent weeks.
“We’ve missed Obertan’s pace – we really have,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“He puts teams on the back foot and makes their left-back stay at home. He’ll be important to us.
“He’s gone a little bit under the radar. I think he’d be a godsend for us now.
“He was very important in those first 10 games where we didn’t get beat last year.
“Also, coming off the bench, he gives the opposition back four a problem, and stops them coming forward.
“Their full-back doesn’t want to come forward when we have Obertan on the pitch. We’ve missed him.”
Meanwhile, Bradford City have been kicked out of the FA Cup after fielding Newcastle defender Curtis Good in last week’s tie against Brentford.
The club didn’t register the 19-year-old, on loan from United until January, in time for the game, which ended 1-1.
A Football Association statement read: “Bradford City did not have the necessary written permission for Curtis Good to play in the competition, whilst on loan from Newcastle United, by the 12pm deadline on Friday, November 30 prior to the fixture that evening.”