Yanga-Mbiwa ‘blossoming’ to keep Taylor out of Newcastle’s team

Newcastle United's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Newcastle United's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
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STEVEN Taylor will have to settle for a place on the Newcastle United bench at Villa Park tomorrow – with Fabricio Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will be tasked with stopping Christian Benteke.

Centre-back Taylor has served now served a three-game suspension for his opening-day dismissal against Manchester City.

But Taylor will not return to the starting XI against Aston Villa tomorrow.

Pardew – whose side have kept clean sheets in their last three games in league and cup – believes January signing Yanga-Mbiwa is starting to “blossom” in English football.

“Mapou’s a player we’ve invested a lot of money in,” Pardew said. “We have to help players blossom, and to do that they need games.

“Mapou’s improved considerably. He’s made mistakes in the Premier League, like most players, but he’s learnt from them quickly.

“He has a turn of speed, and can really get us out of trouble. He’s been a big asset to us in getting three clean sheets.”

Coloccini, meanwhile, has been buoyed by a 90-minute run-out for Argentina in their 5-2 World Cup qualifying win over Paraguay in Asuncion in midweek.

International appearances have been few and far between for Coloccini in his Newcastle career, but the Magpies’ captain is hopeful of playing in next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

“He played 90 minutes for Argentina,” said Pardew. “He’s back in the fold there, and I’m really pleased for him.

“I think he’ll come back in a really confident manner and mood, and hopefully lead the team to great victories.”

Coloccini and Yanga-Mbiwa will have their hands full with powerful striker Benteke, who scored 19 league goals last season and already has three to his name this term.

“He’s really burst into Premier League football,” said Pardew. “You’d have to put him in the top three or four players in that role.