Magpies new boys not certain to start

10 September 2010 09:37
CHRIS HUGHTON has warned Newcastle United's new boys that they will not be given an immediate call to the first team at St James' Park.

But the Newcastle boss has claimed he will not be afraid to dislodge the more established members of his squad if he feels their performance levels have dipped.

French forward Hatem Ben Arfa, Ivory Coast midfielder Cheik Tiote and a fit Sol Campbell are in contention to make their first appearances for the club against Blackpool tomorrow.

Hughton has indicated he will not be making changes for the sake of it, having been impressed by Newcastle's displays in the handsome victory over Aston Villa and the draw at Wolves.

There is no real need to change the team, said Hughton. We are on the back of what I thought was a good result at Wolves, which could have been even better, and a good performance too.

What we have is three new players who will come into the squad and of course, give me things to think about. But there are no special reasons to change the team.

The arrival of Ben Arfa, a loan signing with a view to a permanent arrangement from Marseille, was their most high profile in the days building up to the transfer window.

Many expect him to be handed a starting role against Blackpool, while Tiote will be challenging Alan Smith for the role as defensive midfielder.

Campbell's return to fitness also increases the options at the back, but Hughton is satisfied with the way the partnership between Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson has developed.

Hughton insists he will tinker when he feels the moment is right, even if it means handing young goalkeeper Tim Krul more appearances at the expense of Steve Harper.

I would not be worried about dropping them just because they are big personalities,

said the Newcastle boss.

The important thing is you get the right balance.

You pick a team to win a football match. More important than any of that is come the last game of the season, that we are still in the Premier League. How good that season will be will be determined by a lot of things and they are more important than any individuals.

When I was caretaker manager I left out Michael Owen so I think I have proved I am not afraid of leaving out big names. Leaving out players is something that comes with the territory.

Campbell, 35, outlined he is now ready to start after coming through two reserve team fixtures unscathed after missing a large part of pre-season because of an extended honeymoon.

Hughton said: I am sure he could play 90 minutes. He has done a series of training sessions and in the two games he has played, he has played 45 and just over 60 minutes.

I am quite sure he could, although you never really know if anyone is up to speed until they are given the opportunity.

Source: Northern_Echo