Injuries force Newcastle to step up player search

TOON TARGET ... France's Mathieu Debuchy, right.
TOON TARGET ... France's Mathieu Debuchy, right.

NEWCASTLE United’s injury crisis has given the club’s search for new recruits an added impetus.

But manager Alan Pardew has refused to discuss the strategy being put together behind the scenes ahead of January’s transfer window.

“I think it’s unfair to talk about transfers – I have an injury room with 10 great players in there,” Pardew told the Gazette. “That hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Pardew yesterday ruled out influential pair Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Steven Taylor (hamstring) until February, and their absences will be keenly felt over the coming two months.

Taylor has taken the club’s injured list into double figures.

And a squad, which look ill-equipped to fight on several fronts at the end of August, is now looking desperately thin as the hectic Christmas and New Year period looms ever closer.

The rash of injuries has taken an inevitable toll on the club’s Premier League form, with United languishing in 14th place ahead of tonight’s game against Stoke City.

Even the club’s progression into the Europa League’s Round of 32 last week wasn’t enough to lift the gloom on Tyneside.

Newcastle tried and failed to sign several players in the summer – notably Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy and FC Twente’s Douglas – and there’s no doubt the club could do with the pair in their ranks right now.

Pardew is keen to see reinforcements arrive in January, but he is keeping his cards close to his chest.

He added: “Are we talking about it as a staff, directors and chairman? Of course we are, but I don’t want to publicly say who our targets are.

“At the minute, it’s a movable feast. We’ve lost Cabaye, and that has gave us a problem. We’ve lost Steven too. But we’ve to get past December before we can really start focusing on what we do in January.”

United could well return for right-back Debuchy – who went public with his keenness to join his close friend Cabaye at the club in the summer – in January.

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