Newcastle duo Joey Barton and Jose Enrique unlikely to be risked at Stoke

18 March 2011 01:42
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew faces a series of late selection decisions ahead of a tough trip to Stoke as his walking wounded close in on returns.[LNB]Midfielder Joey Barton, who has sat out the last two games with a thigh problem, is closest to making Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium, but Pardew will not risk him if he is not 100 per cent fit.[LNB]The 28-year-old former Manchester City player, who has been in the best from of his Magpies career to date this season, was a huge miss in the home fixtures against Bolton and Everton which yielded just a single point, and his manager's desperation to have him back is understandable.[LNB] Fitness: Newcastle's Joey Barton and Jose Enrique are struggling with knocks[LNB]But he knows throwing Barton into the mix too early could aggravate his injury, and with loan signing Stephen Ireland yet to make his debut for the club after suffering a similar problem following his return to training, that is something he cannot really afford.[LNB]However, Pardew faces perhaps a bigger challenge at left-back with first-choice Jose Enrique struggling with the hamstring strain he suffered against Everton and rated 'very doubtful', while potential emergency replacement Jonas Gutierrez is similarly afflicted, if to a lesser degree.[LNB] Headache: Alan Pardew is down to his bare bones after a raft of injuries[LNB]Pardew said: 'Jose and Jonas, we have just got to see after training tomorrow, really. You are pitching them in without training after 10 to 14 days in a Premier League game where it is almost like warfare at times at their place, so I will be careful what I do. I would have to be 100% sure they are right.[LNB]'We think Joey has got a good chance - he did the warm-up today. Jose looks very doubtful; Jonas did the warm-up today, but he looks a bit doubtful.'[LNB]Enrique pulled up shortly before half-time in the 2-1 defeat by Everton, prompting a reshuffle which initially saw specialist right-back Danny Simpson, who at the time was playing in midfield, drop in at left-back. [LNB] Kinnear: Magpies fans always hated me because I'm a 'cockney'Northern Exposure: Forget Welbeck... Sunderland fans will be keen to greet CarrollCapello's not Toon-ed in! Pardew says Barton and Nolan deserve England callAll the latest Newcastle news, features and opinion[LNB]  Explore more:People: Danny Simpson, Jonas Gutierrez, Joey Barton Places: Newcastle

Source: Daily_Mail