XISCO KID’S READY FOR A TYNESIDE SHOOTOUT!
NEWCASTLE v CLUB BRUGGE Live on ESPN – 8.05pm
FORGOTTEN man Xisco has begged Alan Pardew to give him one last chance to prove he’s no Newcastle flop.
Toon’s Spanish striker is desperate to finally prove himself after a nightmare four-year spell on Tyneside.
The 26-year-old is in the final season of a £30,000-aweek deal that has seen him make only 11 first-team appearances since joining from Deportivo La Coruna for £5.7million in 2008.
Pardew is well-stocked up front, with six-goal top scorer Demba Ba backed by Papiss Cisse and the towering Ameobi brothers, Shola and Sammy.
It’s seen Xisco farmed back on loan to Deportivo twice, with another short stint at Racing Santander during his ill-fated spell on Toon’s books.
Xisco is resigned to moving on in the summer, and knows his Premier League chances this season will be limited – he’ll be lucky to get on the bench for more than a handful of games barring a major injury crisis.
But the out-of-favour forward reckons he is ideally suited to Toon’s Europa League campaign, which sees them host Belgian side Club Brugge on Thursday.
A win against the group whipping-boys would leave them with seven points from three games and with one foot in the next phase.
Xisco provided a timely reminder of his skills with a stunning 29-minute hat-trick for Newcastle’s Under-21 side in the 5-1 romp against Stoke this week.
And after bagging his first goals for the club at any level in more than three years, he said: “Newcastle hasn’t worked out well for me, but I still have this season left.
“It’s my last season and I’d like to play and be at my best.
“The manager has told me I don’t need to give up. He said to try hard and do my best and that anything can happen.
“I love the club, and the city, and I’m comfortable with my team-mates.”
Cheick Tiote is likely to make a rare Europa League appearance.
The midfield enforcer starts a three-game ban following his red card at Sunderland that rules him out of Premier League action until November 17.
Steven Taylor, Vurnon Anita, Cisse, James Perch, Gabriel Obertan and Steve Harper, who were all on the bench for the Wear-Tyne draw, are also set to start in front of an expected 30,000 crowd.