The midfielder has spent the last three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.
Newcastle ended a four-game losing run in the Premier League a week ago, although I was not as convinced as some that the 3-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at St James’s Park was a turning point.
We played against a ten-man team for 82 mins, who had their own injury problems and were without eight first team players . AND they gifted us an early penalty to ease the nerves.
But obviously Alan Pardew sees it in a different light, and he says the “resilience” on show that night is here to stay.
Alan Pardew: “We’ve put a new resilience in the team.
“I don’t care if Hatem’s fit or not, he needs to come in and understand there’s a different look to the team.
“The team’s got a little bit more drive in it, a little bit more energy.
“He needs to bring that in if he comes in against Fulham, or Manchester City (on Saturday). We’re not far away from being a good side.
“They’ve been hot and cold.
“We’ve had Hatem, and their outstanding player is Berbatov. He’s been terrific, and we’re going to need to make sure he doesn’t have a big influence on the game.
“They’ve got good pros. I’ve been to see Fulham a lot. They were on my doorstep when I was working in London.
“They’re very difficult at home. They’ve got a nice rhythm, and their fans don’t give them too much of a hard time.
“They can play poorly, and the fans will stay with them. You have to concentrate for 90 minutes at their place.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad