Newcastle United’s Haidara ready for survival battle

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MASSADIO Haidara is looking to make up for lost time at Newcastle United – and help the club secure Premier League survival.

Haidara thought he season was over when Wigan Athletic’s Callum McManaman caught him with a reckless challenge at the DW Stadium last month.

The 20-year-old was fortunate to escape serious injury while fallout from the tackle, which went unpunished, has led the Football Association to review its disciplinary procedures.

Haidara – who made his comeback against Benfica last week – was an unused substitute in Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby humbling by Sunderland.

And the January signing is set for a recall to Alan Pardew’s Premier League starting XI at The Hawthorns on Saturday, with first-choice left-back Davide Santon sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“It’s a real pleasure to be back from injury – I really think that my durability will be better now,” Haidara said.

“I thought my season was over after what happened at Wigan, but I’m delighted to be able to play again this season.

“The team really needs all of the players available for the last few games, and I’m ready and available to help the team.”

The Sunderland defeat – Newcastle’s worst Tyne-Wear derby loss in 34 years – has heaped more pressure on Magpies manager Alan Pardew and his players, who have five games to secure safety.

Haidara, for his part, is confident there will be a positive reaction against West Brom.

“Of course we were very, very disappointed on Sunday,” said Haidara.

“The players, the staff, and everyone at the club are disappointed, because we all know that it was a very important game.

“We needed the three points, but the first thing we do now is think about the West Brom game.”