Pearce: In­jury could spell dis­as­ter for de­fender’s Euro dream

Midweek Sport - - TV GUIDE - By JA­SON MELLOR

STU­ART PEARCE reck­ons Steven Tay­lor’s night­mare in­jury lay-off could have cost him a place at the Euro 2012 fi­nals.

The un­lucky Toon de­fender is out for the rest of the sea­son af­ter surgery on an Achilles in­jury picked up in the 3-0 Premier League de­feat by Chelsea.

Tay­lor has been in sparkling form along­side pal Fabri­cio Coloc­cini this sea­son and has played a ma­jor role in the Ge­ordies’ stun­ning start to the cam­paign.

New­cas­tle boss Alan Pardew in­sisted the 25-yearold was ready for an Eng­land call af­ter be­ing on the fringes of the Three Lions squad in the past.

Un­der-21 boss Pearce made Tay­lor a main­stay of his side and be­lieves Fabio Capello could have done a lot worse than take a look at the no-non­sense cen­tre-back.

But that’s all gone up in smoke af­ter Tay­lor’s in­jury robbed him of a chance to make a late push for next sum­mer’s Euro fi­nals in Poland and Urkaine.


Pearce in­sisted: “I had a great deal of con­fi­dence in Steven. He was a great leader for us when he played for the Un­der-21s.

“He’s re­ally been on the up again. He’s been play­ing in a team that’s do­ing well and he’s taken a lot on board from play­ing with Coloc­cini.

“What­ever is in front of him, who knows? We’re strong at se­nior level in cen­tral de­fence, but three years ago he was keep­ing Gary Cahill out of the team at Un­der-21s. Now Cahill is in the se­nior team.

“It shows how things can turn around quickly, and Steven knows that.” Toon boss Pardew is set to launch a raid for Se­bastien Bas­song in a bid to ease his de­fen­sive cri­sis.

Pardew wants the former Mag­pies de­fender back at St James’ Park on loan as he looks to plug the gap left by crocked duo Tay­lor and Coloc­cini.

Skip­per Coloc­cini is set to miss at least a month with a thigh prob­lem and, with back-up Mike Wil­liamson still at least three weeks from a re­turn af­ter suf­fer­ing an­kle lig­a­ment dam­age, Pardew wants Bas­song to cover on a short-term deal in Jan­uary.

The Cameroon cen­tre-back was a mas­sive hit in his sin­gle


sea­son on Ty­ne­side, scoop­ing the Player of the Year award af­ter his bar­gain £600,000 move from French side Metz.

But the 25-year-old has strug­gled to hold down a reg­u­lar first team place since leav­ing the Ge­ordies for White Hart Lane in an £8mil­lion deal two-and-a-half years ago.

Pardew will ask Spurs boss Harry Red­knapp to do him a favour by giv­ing the green light to an ini­tial month-long loan next month.

Bas­song has again been frozen out af­ter start­ing just seven league games last sea­son. He ad­mit­ted: “I feel I’ve gone back­wards. I want to play week in, week out.

“I’m at an age where I have to play. I’d never just sit there and take the money.”

There was one piece of good news for Pardew ahead of Satur­day’s trip to Nor­wich, with key mid­fielder Cheik Tiote set to re­turn to train­ing.

The Ivory Coast star has missed the last six games with a knee prob­lem which it was feared would need surgery.

But the 25-year-old is ready to make his come­back af­ter es­cap­ing go­ing un­der the knife, and has an out­side chance of fig­ur­ing at Car­row Road.

BASS FISH­ING: Alan Pardew is hop­ing to snare Spurs’ Se­bastien Bas­song on a loan deal

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