Alan Pardew: “He’s been a big miss and that competition he provided from the bench made the other two play very, very well.
“Against West Brom neither Jonas (Gutierrez) or (Gabriel) Obertan - pictured right - were at their best and that factor always helps, to have that competition.
“We’re hoping he comes back before the end.
"But we always felt that this period before the last two games would be difficult for us, but we came out the other side of them hurt with injuries and suspensions in particular – and that’s caused these last two results to be disappointing.
“That’s what we’ve got to put right.
“I think we’re very much aware that Gabby (Obertan) has come back from injury and he’s trying to find his way in the team again.
“He’s been terrific for us and he’s only a young player and as far as I’m concerned that’s something we’ll deal with privately.”