HATEM Ben Arfa will be put in some hard yards on the training field this week – so he has the legs to get Newcastle United out of relegation trouble.
Manager Alan Pardew is hoping the forward can inject some life into his team in the last five games of the season.
Mathieu Debuchy and Cheik Tiote are also set for a gruelling week on the training field ahead of the game against West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
The trio all returned from injury last week, with Ben Arfa coming off the bench against Benfica and Sunderland and defender midfielder Debuchy and Tiote starting the Tyne-Wear derby.
And Pardew needs them fit and ready for the last five Premier League games of the season, with points still needed to seal Premier League safety.
“We certainly can do a week’s work with Hatem and Debuchy, who had his first game (back from injury),” Pardew said. “And Cheik, we’ll do more work with him.”
However, some of Pardew’s players will be rested in the early part of the week.
Stand-in captain Yohan Cabaye looked jaded in midfield against Sunderland, who out-fought and out-played their hosts.
Fabricio Coloccini, meanwhile, has been pencilled in to make his comeback against Liverpool.
Newcastle’s captain has been sidelined since late February with a back injury but won’t be ready for Saturday’s trip to West Brom.
Instead, Coloccini could make his return against Liverpool at St James’s Park on April 27.
“Looking at him (Coloccini), I don’t think he’ll be available until we get to Liverpool, but we’ll see,” Pardew said.
Coloccini’s return can’t come soon enough for Pardew, who is under intense pressure in the aftermath of the 3-0 defeat to Sunderland, with the result the club’s heaviest derby defeat in 34 years.
In Coloccini’s absence, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has played alongside Steven Taylor in the heart of defence.
However, Yanga-Mbiwa, signed from French champions Montpellier in January, struggled against Black Cats striker Danny Graham, and Coloccini’s return return would be a major boost for the smarting Magpies boss.