ALAN Pardew has told of his frustration at the prospect of losing a clutch of key players on the eve of the new season.
Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini has been recalled by Argentina for their friendly against Germany in Frankfurt a week today.
And midfielder Cheik Tiote, should he be called up by the Ivory Coast, faces a 3,400-mile round trip to Moscow for a fixture against Russia just three days before the season-opener against Tottenham Hotspur on August 18.
“It’s very, very upsetting, because you’re playing all pre-season, and in the last week you want to focus everybody’s minds for the season ahead, and you can’t – they’re not here,” Pardew said.
“We’ll have one day to quickly assemble the team. Tottenham are in the same position. We’ll have to hope we’ve done enough work.
“Actually, Cheik looks in the best shape I’ve seen him. He looks better than this time last year.
“I’ve got no problem with him travelling there. He’s ready to go, trust me.”