RYAN Taylor is facing several months on the sidelines at Newcastle United after suffering knee ligament damage.
The utility player suffered the injury during Thursday night’s Europa League win over Atromitos.
Taylor yesterday had his knee scanned, and manager Alan Pardew fears the 28-year-old is out for the “long term”.
“I’m really disappointed for him,” said Pardew, who handed Taylor a new long-term contract last season in recognition for his contribution to the cause.
“The lads love him here and he’s a really popular lad. He’s not only a full-back, but he’s a match winner.
“Unfortunately, that has been taken away from us in the short-term, and maybe the long-term.”
Taylor’s injury had led Pardew to consider a pushing for a transfer deadline day signing as cover.
However, yesterday he ruled out a move, with James Perch and James Tavernier also able to cover both full-back positions. Pardew has defended the Magpies’ summer transfer business.
The Tynesiders signed just one senior player in the window – Vurnon Anita – and efforts to strengthen defence and attack came to nothing.
Pardew’s squad looks short in a couple of areas given the amount of games Newcastle, who entertain Aston Villa in the Premier League tomorrrow, will play at home and abroad.
And Pardew, at least in public, is backing the club’s tough stance in negotiations.
Newcastle didn’t meet the asking price for Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy and FC Twente’s Douglas, and an offer for Andy Carroll fell significantly short of Liverpool’s valuation.
“Let’s be honest – it’s not about the money, it’s about the player, and the quality of the player,” Pardew said.
“I don’t think you can find one of our fans who could argue we ain’t got value for money. That will continue – we’ll strive to push that along.”
Pardew was also relieved to keep his key players at the club, not least Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote and Demba Ba.
“We’ve got some great players here, and I’ve kept them intact – that was my main priority this summer,” he said.
Keeper Tim Krul is relishing tomorrow’s showdown with Aston Villa – and his former goalkeeping mentor, Shay Given.
“We’re at home, so we have to make sure our performance deserves to get a positive result,” said the Dutchman.
“We would have snapped your hands off if we’d been offered six points out of the first few games.
“We gave Chelsea a little bit too much respect, but we are back at home now and we’re looking for a win.”
Newcomer Joe Bennett, signed from Middlesbrough for an initial £2.5million, has been included in Villa’s squad. Ciaran Clark returns after a one-match suspension.
Meanwhile, Newcastle were yesterday drawn to meet Belgians Club Brugge, French side Bordeaux and Madeira-based Portuguese outfit Maritimo in the Europa League’s group stage.
“It’s been a brilliant draw for us, logistically,” said Pardew. “All three draws are great, and our fans will love the cities as well. Hopefully, we’ll have a few following us.”
NEWCASTLE (from): Squad: Krul, Elliot, Harper, Santon, Tavernier, Coloccini, Williamson, S Taylor, Simpson, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Obertan, Marveaux, Gosling, Anita, Bigirimana, Amalfitano, Vuckic, Cisse, Ba, Campbell.
ASTON VILLA (from): Given, Guzan, Lowton, Lichaj, Clark, Vlaar, Baker, Herd, El Ahmadi, Bannan, Ireland, Delph, Holman, N’Zogbia, Bent, Weimann, Delfouneso, Burke, Johnson, Williams.