WEARSIDE Mick Harford will be tasked with finding Newcastle United bargains from the lower leagues, writes Miles Starforth.
The former Newcastle and Sunderland striker is set to be appointed as assistant to director of football Joe Kinnear.
Harford, 54, will attend games with Kinnear, who is now overseeing the club’s recruitment.
Newcastle remain in talks with Olympique Lyonnais over a move for striker Bafetimbi Gomis, and the club are hopeful a deal for the 27-year-old can be finalised this week.
Harford – who assisted Kinnear during his managerial career – won’t be involved in coaching.
Newcastle have made no comment on the imminent appointment of Harford, who had a brief spell at the club early in his playing career. He also played briefly for Sunderland in 1993, playing 11 games.
It is understood that Harford will also monitor the progress made by Newcastle’s younger players while on loan.
Harford – who was assistant manager at MK Dons last season, and has managed Rotherham United and Luton Town – joined Millwall as a coach last month, a role he is set to walk away from.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s first-team coach Steve Stone will focus more on the club’s younger players this season.
Manager Pardew is implementing a number of changes on and off the practice field this season, and Stone will be tasked with helping assimilate Academy graduates into the squad.
Meanwhile, Hatem Ben Arfa and Fabricio Coloccini, who sat out Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Rio Ave, will play against Pacos de Ferreira tomorrow night.
Forward Ben Arfa has been doing extra work on his conditioning in Portugal under the guidance of Faye Downey, the club’s new performance director.
Captain Coloccini reported back for duty later than the rest of the squad after his involvement in Argentina’s summer internationals, so was behind his team-mates in his pre-season work.
Pardew said: “They’re working hard – we’re topping them up – and they’ll feature on Tuesday,” Pardew said.
Pardew also has left-back Massadio Haidara available, with the defender having recovered from a minor injury and joined up with his team-mates in Portugal on Saturday.
Pardew felt his team was “fatigued” after their intensive fitness work.
“They were strong opposition,” he said. “One or two of their players caused us problems. I think we were a bit surprised, to be honest, and a bit passive around them.
“Therefore they created a couple of goals which really and truly we wouldn’t concede in the Premier League.”
Pardew’s side was far from convincing in a dreadful opening 45 minutes. Ahmed Kasson scored twice inside the first nine minutes, and defensive hestitancy allowed Braga to score a third soft goal.
There were long-range efforts from Sylvain Marveaux and Yohan Cabaye, handed the captain’s armband.
Newcasle were better after the break, much better, but all they could muster was a goal from Shola Ameobi in the 76th minute, the 31-year-old getting on the end of a right-wing cross from Gabriel Obertan.
The hosts might have had another goal, but goalkeeper Rob Elliot – who replaced Jak Alnwick for the second half – saved a penalty from Sandro Lima after Mike Williamson was adjudged to have fouled the striker in the box.
RIO AVE: Ederson, Tarantini, Hassan, Diego, Braga, Vilas Boas, Dias, Marcelo, Lionn, Del Valle, Wakaso.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Alnwick (Elliot, 46), Santon (Williamson, 70), S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett, Cabaye (Tiote, 46), Anita (Campbell, 76), Marveaux (Obertan, 46), Vuckic (Sissoko, 46), Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi, 46), Gouffran (Shola Ameobi, 62).