ALAN Pardew says Newcastle United’s season is on a “knife edge”.
The Magpies’ injury crisis is showing little sign of clearing up ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit to Carrow Road.
James Perch has joined the injured list and is rated “very doubtful” for the Norwich City game. And long-term injury victims Steven Taylor and Yohan Cabaye are unlikely to be involved.
United manager Pardew will also be without the suspended Shola Ameobi, though captain Fabricio Coloccini, Papiss Cisse and Jonas Gutierrez have a chance of returning from injury.
Utility player Perch suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to Brighton, while Ameobi was dismissed for two bookable offences.
“I’m a little bit worried about Perchie, and Shola’s ineligible,” Pardew said. “Perchie’s very doubtful with his knee. Hopefully, Jonas will be back and Colo and Papiss. They should train on Thursday with a bit of luck.
“We’re on a knife edge now.”
Pardew had hoped to have influential players Cabaye (groin) and Taylor (hamstring) in his squad for the Norwich game.
However, asked if the game was going to come too early for the pair, Pardew said: “I think it might be, but we’ll push them as hard as we can.
“We can’t get them back, play one game and they are out for five. It’s better they come back, and stay fit.”
One positive for Pardew, with right-back Danny Simpson injured, is the availability of new signing Mathieu Debuchy, who is pencilled in to start against Norwich after a week’s training at his new club.
“Debuchy comes into the team, and we’ll look like we have a much stronger team than at the weekend,” he said.