RYAN Taylor’s injury is set to force Newcastle into a late raid on the transfer market.
Taylor could be out for several months after suffering a knee injury in last night’s 1-0 Europa League play-off win over Atromitos.
The 28-year-old collapsed in agony on the touchline early in the game and was replaced by Haris Vuckic, who scored the winning goal in the 21st minute.
Taylor offers boss Alan Pardew cover across the back four and midfield.
Pardew – whose side now face six Europa League group games after progressing from fourth final qualifying round – admitted after the game that the injury has given him a serious headache ahead of tonight’s transfer window deadline.
Another utility player, James Perch, also suffered a minor injury in the game.
Up to now, the club has been frustrated in its attempts to do deals for defenders, with Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy and Twente’s Douglas having been among Newcastle’s targets.
“We’ve picked up a couple injuries,” Pardew said. “Ryan does not look good – I might have to look at that.
“I fear that the news isn’t going to be good on that injury, if I’m honest, which is a shame, because he’s an important player for us.
“We’ll have to wait and see. I think Perch’s is not too serious.
“But the problem with all these games is that you lose players to injury and suspension. They mount up, so we have to be very, very careful.”
Slovenian 20-year-old Vuckic had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes when the ball was rolled to him from Gabriel Obertan on the right. He swung his left foot and struck a looping shot which, thanks to a deflection, left former Liverpool keeper Charles Itandje with no chance.
Keeper Tim Krul admits Newcastle rode their luck – the Greeks should have had a penalty late in the first half after a prone Krul clipped Chumbinho as he attempted to reach for the ball.
However, referee Stephan Studer booked Da Silva for simulation.
Atromitos had another penalty claim rejected in the second half, and Elini Dimoutsos shot narrowly wide from 10 yards in a nervy finale.
Krul said: “Sometimes you don’t deserve a clean sheet, and you get one, and sometimes you deserve a clean sheet, and don’t get one.
“We didn’t deserve this one. We were a bit lucky, especially with the incident in the first half.
“I did get a touch on him, but he tried to make the most of it. That’s why he gave him a yellow.
Vuckic told of his joy after sinking the Greeks with his first goal for the club.
“Finally, I scored a goal – I’m very happy,” Vuckic enthused.
“The most important thing is that we won and the team came through in Europe.
“I didn’t expect to come on that way, and I feel sorry for Ryan. I hope he will come back soon.
Newcastle United: Krul, Coloccini, Simpson, Williamson, Perch (Tavernier), R Taylor (Vuckic), Gosling, Bigirimana, Marveaux (Amalfitano), Obertan, Ba. Subs: Harper, Cabaye, Cisse, Campbell
Atromitos: Itandje, Skondras, Giannoulis, Fitanidis, Lazaridis, Brito (Kuqi), Iglesias, Dimoutsos (Garcia), Epstein, Karamanos, Chumbinho Booked (Beljic). Subs: Radman, Tavlaridis, Nastos, Balas.
Ref: Stephan Studer Att: 29,242.