Newcastle United duo are doubts for start of season

Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew

SHANE Ferguson and Danny Guthrie are doubts for the start of the season.

The Newcastle United pair suffered injuries in Friday night’s win at Darlington.

Ferguson suffered a leg problem, while Guthrie hobbled off the field with an ankle injury.

The pair were immediately ruled out of the club’s three-game tour of the United States, and manager Alan Pardew today revealed they are unlikely to be available for Newcastle’s season-opener against Arsenal on August 13.

“It’s not particularly great news on either of them,” Pardew said.

“It’s looking like neither will be ready for the start of the season.

“Fergie’s probably got more chance than Guthrie.”

Pardew’s squad remains thin in places, though he’s keen to add a couple more faces before the transfer window close, and he knows he can ill-afford too many more injuries.

“It’s OK, we can cope, but if we lost another two, then it won’t be OK,” Pardew added. “I wouldn’t say we’re on a knife-edge with injuries, but our squad isn’t particularly big.”

Meanwhile, Harris Vuckic is looking to make up for lost time at Newcastle United – and quickly.

The midfielder missed the second half of last season after undergoing knee surgery.

And Vuckic couldn’t wait for the start of pre-season, such is his keenness to challenge for a first-team place after putting a frustrating injury behind him.

The skilful 18-year-old started last Friday’s 2-0 win at Darlington, and he’s looking for another run-out against Sporting Kansas City tomorrow night.

Vuckic was played on the left side of midfield by manager Alan Pardew, who is keen to take a close look at the Slovenia Under-21 international over the coming weeks, having not seen him play competitively.

Reflecting on his comeback at Darlington, Vuckic said: “After the injuries last year that hit my season very hard, it was just a pleasure to be back playing again.

“I thought I did OK, and playing with the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa and Joey Barton was great for me.”

as they’re such talented players.

“I thought I’d scored midway through the first half when I cut in from the left, but their defence did well to block my shot, which I was sure was heading in.

“That’s disappointing, but it was a good game for us, and one that I was delighted to have taken part in.”

Vuckic – who signed a new long-term deal at St James’s Park last season amid interest from Manchester United and Chelsea – is confident he can make significant progress and play some first-team football over the coming campaign, be it at Newcastle or on loan.

He added: “I hope to play in some more pre-season games now, and hopefully show the manager what