Pardew bemoans Ameobi injury
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew fears he could be without Shola Ameobi for up to six weeks if it is confirmed the forward suffered a fractured cheekbone in the 1-0 defeat at Fulham.
"The diagnosis isn't good. He's got a dent in his cheekbone, which suggests that he may have fractured it," said Pardew, who admitted that would mean a four-to-six-week absence. It was a big blow to us during the game actually. It affected our game plan a little bit."
Ameobi's 10th-minute collision with Steve Sidwell appeared accidental and Pardew added: "Sidwell, I've worked with. He's an honest guy and I don't think he's malicious in any shape or form."
Pardew hailed goalkeeper Steve Harper and defender Jose Enrique, who he described as "absolutely superb" and "one of the best left-backs in this division", despite acknowledging the Spaniard was at fault for Damien Duff's 67th-minute winner. But he was less complimentary about strikers Leon Best and Ameobi's replacement Nile Ranger.
"I will be honest about the strikers. They weren't as good as they have been," he said. "Young Nile has got a lot to learn and Leon Best, unfortunately for Leon, did not have a good night."
Fulham's win, their fifth in a row at home in all competitions, propelled them up to 12th in the table, just a point behind tonight's opponents.
Manager Mark Hughes claimed he was as pleased with the manner of the victory as Sunday's 4-0 FA Cup thrashing of Tottenham.
"We scored one, could've had a number of others, had good clear chances and could've won more comprehensively. I'm probably as pleased with the performance and result as I was at the weekend."
"It was difficult for us in the first half. Newcastle came to stop us playing our normal game. They penned us in and, really, that wasn't the game that we wanted to play. Second half, we had to address that and make sure we imposed ourselves."
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