ALAN Pardew will not take any risks with Cheik Tiote against Everton tomorrow (12.45pm) – as he’s got a ready-made replacement if the midfielder fails to prove his fitness.
Tiote’s battling to recover from a knee injury in time to be available for selection.
But Pardew – who has fielded Danny Guthrie in his place in Newcastle United’s last two games – won’t take any chances if he’s not 100 per cent fit.
Guthrie, pictured, impressed Pardew in his first Premier League start of the season against Stoke on Monday.
The 24-year-old’s tireless work in central midfield alongside Yohan Cabaye helped the club to a convincing 3-1 win, the result taking Newcastle up to third place in the division.
Guthrie missed the start of the season through injury, but he’s rediscovered his form and fitness and shown he’s capable of deputising for Tiote, one of the first names on Pardew’s teamsheet.
“I don’t know how Cheik’s going to respond in the next couple of days, but there’s part of me that would look to Danny anyway,” Pardew said.
“I’ve been rewarded with Ryan (Taylor) for the faith I’ve shown in him, and I’ll have to see if I stick with Danny.
“Cheik Tiote’s a fantastic player. You’d miss him out of any team.
“We’ll miss him if he doesn’t play – I can’t say any more than that.”
Pardew will definitely be without Gabriel Obertan against Everton after he picked up a toe infection.
Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa and Sammy Ameobi are among the candidates to replace Obertan on the right side of Pardew’s midfield.
Pardew will challenged whoever takes his place to look to the examples set by Guthrie and Ryan Taylor, two players who were on the fringes, and in the treatment room, under Pardew last season.
“Danny’s been absolutely superb,” said Pardew.
“Stoke didn’t suit him at all, but he did the other side of the job – that fighting, being diligent, marking and everything else that goes with the central midfield role – very, very well.
“Obviously, I don’t need to say any more about what Ryan’s done.
“If somebody else gets a chance, let’s hope they produce the same level of performance that those two have done.”
Meanwhile, Obertan’s absence is a frustration to Pardew, who felt the 22-year-old “frightened” Stoke with his electric pace.
“I think he’s been terrific for us,” he said. “He’s a player that’s finding his way in the Premier League.
“He hasn’t played many games, but he’s got such assets, he can be such a force for us if we can harness it. In the first half against Stoke, he frightened them to death. To miss him will be a coup for Everton.”