ALAN Pardew says he’s got a selection headache for Newcastle United’s visit to Goodison Park.
Pardew admits “one or two” players are “under pressure” ahead of Monday night’s game against Everton.
Newcastle were disappointingly beaten 3-2 by Hull City on their last Premier League outing.
Pardew’s side were defensively poor on an afternoon when Loic Remy’s two goals should have been enough for United, previously unbeaten in four games.
The performances of a number of players in Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup win over Leeds United, notably Paul Dummett, Sammy Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran, have given Pardew some food for thought.
“What it does is put pressure on the players who are playing,” Pardew said.
“I think one or two are under pressure on Monday night. What I’ve got is players in good form, and that’s a good thing.
“We just have more options, and I’m able to make changes.
“We’ve had Dummett since he was nine, and Sammy’s been here since he was 14. I was absolutely delighted with those two.”
Pardew considered leaving out misfiring striker Papiss Demba Cisse against Leeds.
But he handed Cisse a start, and the 28-year-old rewarded him with his first goal in 1,005 minutes, a powerful header from a left-wing Ameobi cross.
“That was the ploy against Leeds – I wanted to see him get that goal, and he did,” said Pardew.
“He’s struggled a little bit this season so far. He needed it (the goal).
“He’d been snatching at chances before then.
“It was just one of those chances that he needed to get good contact on, because it was a great cross. The goal for Papiss will hopefully put a smile back on his face.”
Ameobi and Dummet combined on the left side for Cisse’s goal, and their partnership against Leeds was a positive for Pardew.
“Those two left-footers balanced us up a bit,” he added.
“That’s why they’re pushing, because we haven’t really got a natural left footer down that side - other than Sammy or Dummett. That’s why they are important to us.”
Meanwhile, captain Fabricio Coloccini is expected to be fit to face Everton despite being clattered late in the Leeds game.
“Colo got a tough old tackle at the end of the game, but we’re hoping he’s OK,” said Pardew.