Pards slack at the back for battle of Bordeaux
NEWCASTLE v BORDEAUX Europa League Thursday, 8.05pm – ESPN
ALAN PARDEW has told the Toon Army to bring their voices – and their boots – to back his crocked troops in Europe.
Boss Pardew faces an injury crisis at the back with four key names missing for the visit of French club Bordeaux.
Skipper Fabricio Coloccini (hamstring), Steven Taylor (calf), Ryan Taylor (knee) and full-back Danny Simpson (hamstring) are all out of Thursday’s clash – with the quartet all set to miss Manchester United’s Premier League visit on Sunday as well.
Pardew is low on numbers as he is forced into a major reshuffle in defence.
He admitted: “We’ll have to see what we’re going to do because it’s not an area we’re strong in at the moment.”
Newcastle expect a 30,000 crowd at St James’ Park and Pardew added: “We’ll need the fans right behind us to give us that extra man against a very good Bordeaux side.”
Toon are looking for a seventh straight home win in Europe stretching back to 2006.
But they’ll have to improve on a poor record against teams from across the Channel, with just one win from five games against French sides.
Unbeaten Bordeaux opened their European campaign with a 4-0 romp against Club Brugge.
Gabriel Obertan hopes to face his old club, who have ex-Sunderland and Man United striker David Bellion in their squad.
Obertan said: “It’s always a bit weird to play one of your old sides.
“It’s a long time since I was at Bordeaux but it will be great to see the coaching staff again and there are still a couple of players there from my time at the club.”
Vurnon Anita is set to return to Newcastle’s starting line-up after the Dutch midfielder was dropped for Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Reading.