Pardew Wants Ashley To Cough Up For Defender

05 December 2011 01:12
Mike Ashley will decide whether to add a second centre-back to Alan Pardew's January hit-list after Steven Taylor was ruled out for the season with a ruptured Achilles.

United are facing a major injury crisis with both skipper Fabricio Coloccini and midfielder Cheick Tioté doubtful for Norwich.

But injury jinxed Taylor has again been ruled out for months, and that causes most anxiety at St James’ Park.

Mike Williamson is not likely to be available for another three weeks and out-of-favour Tamas Kadar has been frozen out at St James’ Park, but could be an option.

Pardew has allegedly already convinced Ashley to bring in defensive cover during the transfer window, but top-level discussions this week will determine whether another defender will be required in the wake of Taylor’s injury.

PSV Eindhoven defender Erik Pieters remains a big favourite with Pardew but Ashley was not happy with the way negotiations progressed for the Holland defender in August.

And when Ashley makes up his mind there is usually no going back.

Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has been watched extensively by Newcastle and is a potential target, even though Alan Pardew has denied interest in the centre-back.

Alan Pardew: “The injuries are our biggest concern now as we look ahead.

“Colo has a thigh strain, we hope it doesn’t tear. We’ll have to scan them to find out how serious they are.

“I was pleased with James Perch because he came on in a really intense game against a top player, and although he started shaky he got better as the game went on and that was pleasing.

“We’ve been a bit unfortunate in these three games, we’ve not had our best squad to pick from, no Gutiérrez, no Cheick, the two centre-halves off the pitch for the last ten minutes, and yet I still look at my team and they’re competitive.

“Once we lost Williamson we were always in trouble.

“Up until now we’ve been really unfortunate to have them both (Steven Taylor and Coloccini) every week.

“But at some point in the season you’re going to get into difficult situations and it looks like we’re in a difficult situation – but the spirit of the group will remain strong and we go to the next game.

“We’ve had a brilliant season so far, but injuries are going to come our way and you have to cope with it.”