No place for injured Magpie Butt against United - but Smith set to return against his old mate
02 March 2009 03:15
Nicky Butt looks certain to miss out against his former club Manchester United this week and could be struggling to play his part in Newcastle's
fight for survival this season.
The former England international is waiting for the results of a scan after he injured medial knee ligament damage in yesterday's defeat at Bolton.
The stand-in Newcastle captain is expected to be ruled out for at least another fortnight, which is another massive blow for caretaker boss Chris Hughton who is already without Joey Barton, Danny Guthrie and the suspended Kevin Nolan.
Another former United favourite Alan Smith could now start his first game for nine months in central midfield on Wednesday.
Hughton said: 'Nicky has tweaked his knee. We won't know the extent of it until later today, but, of course, we're hopeful it's very minor. In the past it's an area we've suffered in.'
Meanwhile Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has warned his team-mates they will be relegated unless they are prepared to fight for their careers.
The England Under-21 captain says Newcastle players have to stand up to the reality of their perilous position or face the consequences.
Taylor said: 'This has to bring out the men in the dressing room. We'll see exactly who wants to play for this football club. The lads need to show character and show exactly how much playing for Newcastle means to them.
'We're in a serious relegation fight. We've lost at Bolton in a game we should have won. That didn't happen and now we have to dust ourselves off for Manchester United.
'They are the best team in the world. Now we have to be men and stand up to that.'