KEVIN Nolan today told of his frustration as he faced up to a two-match suspension.
But Newcastle United’s captain is convinced Alan Pardew’s side can still win without him and midfield colleague Cheik Tiote at Villa Park.
Nolan, like Tiote, will be banned for Sunday’s game against relegation-threatened Aston Villa.
The club’s captain was shown his 10th yellow card of the season in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers after he caught Adam Hammill as he raced towards goal.
Pardew admitted after the game their absence will give him a huge headache.
Nolan again underlined his importance to United with a goal in the comprehensive victory, which eased the club’s Premier League relegation worries.
Ironically, Newcastle can all but ensure their top-flight status at the stadium where they were relegated the season before last, something which won’t be lost on the players still at the club who faced Villa that fateful afternoon.
While disappointed to be suspended, Nolan is adamant his team-mates can cope without him and the influential Tiote when they attempt to cross the finish line and secure another season of top-flight football.
“It puts a bit of a downer on it, but hopefully we’ll have enough bodies,” Nolan said.
“Me and Cheik are out, but we’ve got Danny Guthrie, and there are lads who can come in.
“It wasn’t an intentional clip – I tried to get out of the way. Everybody will see it. He clipped me, but he knew what he was doing. He went across me.
“But the ref got it right, it wasn’t a sending off. I’d have been surprised if it was.”
Nolan’s goal was his 12th of the season, a career best league total.
The midfielder ran on to Shola Ameobi’s flick on and slipped the ball through Wayne Hennessey’s legs to set United on their way to a hugely significant win.
Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands and Jonas Gutierrez scored Newcastle’s other goals.
However, Nolan very nearly didn’t make Pardew’s team-sheet, having been laid low by sickness on the eve of the game.
“I couldn’t train on Friday – I got sent home,” Nolan went on.
The result lifted United, beaten 4-0 at Stoke City a fortnight earlier, into ninth place and stretched the gap between them, and the relegation zone to seven points.
“That’s what we set out to do so we’re all delighted,” Nolan went on.
“It’s nice to put the disappointment of Stoke behind us. It would have been nicer if it was a week after instead of a long wait, but it was worth waiting for.”
“We were disappointed to concede the goal we did, but let’s not look at negatives.
“We came out with a game plan which the gaffer put to us. The sloppiness that has caused us problems, and goals against this season, was cut out. I think we were deserved winners.”