ALAN Pardew is confident his Newcastle United walking wounded will be fit to take on Sunderland.
Papiss Demba Cisse, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote all suffered knocks against Wolves on Saturday.
The problems were today being fully assessed by the club’s staff ahead of Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby at the Sports Direct Arena.
However, Pardew is confident the influential quartet will all be fit to face Martin O’Neill’s side.
Asked if anyone was expected to miss the derby, Pardew said: “I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s anything there to worry about.”
Pardew is predicting a “ding-dong” derby, with both sides intent on bouncing back from disappointments on Saturday.
“Sunderland have had a heavy result, and they’ll be coming here to put that right,” Pardew said.
“We’ve had the disappointment of leading 2-0 and getting pegged back. Both teams look like they’re in good shape to have a bit of a ding dong.”
He was philosophical about Saturday’s game when the Magpies let a two-goal lead slip against struggling Wolves.
“It’s a game we could have lost,” he said. “It was a deflected goal and a set-play goal. I thought the referee was a bit harsh. Demba (Ba) got fouled so many times by the centre half, but we never got one of them.
“It was just one of those days. We’ll have to take it on the chin.”
It all started so well for Newcastle who, despite not playing particularly well, raced into a 2-0 lead within 18 minutes to leave new Wolves manager Terry Connor staring down the barrel of a mauling in his first game at the helm.
Papiss Cisse set the ball rolling with a sixth-minute opener, turning home Cheick Tiote’s long-range effort after Yohan Cabaye had robbed Christophe Berra to spark panic in the visitors’ rearguard.
The Magpies extended their lead in style 12 minutes later when Gutierrez latched on to Kevin Doyle’s clearing header and took a controlling touch before blasting an unstoppable rising drive past goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
It should have been plain sailing from there, but Pardew’s men emerged for the second half in strangely subdued fashion and with Connor having galvanised his players at the break, a fightback was launched.
There was an element of good fortune about their first goal when Matt Jarvis’ 50th-minute shot looped up off full-back Danny Simpson and cleared keeper Tim Krul’s despairing dive.
But there was worse to come 16 minutes later when Newcastle failed to deal adequately with a Jamie O’Hara free-kick and Doyle stabbed home an equaliser from close range.
Substitute Hatem Ben Arfa twice went close to a winner in a frantic conclusion to the game, but there was little argument that the visitors were worthy of a point.
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Ryan Taylor (Guthrie 65), Cabaye, Tiote (Shola Ameobi 80), Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse (Ben Arfa 65). Subs Not Used: Elliot, Perch, Obertan, Ferguson. Booked: Shola Ameobi. Goals: Cisse 6, Gutierrez 18.
Wolves: Hennessey, Zubar, Berra, Stearman, Ward, Foley (Milijas 90), Henry, Edwards, O’Hara (Kightly 70), Jarvis (Hunt 85), Doyle. Subs Not Used: De Vries, Craddock, Ebanks-Blake, Johnson. Booked: Berra. Goals: Jarvis 50, Doyle 66.
Att: 52, 287 Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).