ALAN Pardew’s confident Danny Guthrie can fill Cheik Tiote’s boots at the Britannia Stadium tonight.
Tiote’s unlikely to be involved against Stoke City because of a knee problem.
The 25-year-old also missed last week’s Carling Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers, where Guthrie deputised.
And Guthrie’s again on standby to line up alongside Yohan Cabaye in the centre of Pardew’s midfield.
Pardew felt Guthrie – who hasn’t started a Premier League game yet this season – acquitted himself well at Ewood Park after an injury-hit start to the campaign.
“I thought Guthrie was our best player,” Pardew said. “Make no bones about it, he was the best player on the night.
“He’s a very good footballer, and I wouldn’t hesitate to put him back into the team.”
Steven Taylor will return to the starting XI with the help of a protective mask, the in-form defender having broken his nose in United’s last league game against Wigan Athletic.
And Pardew believes Taylor’s willingness to battle will be essential to his side’s hopes in the Potteries.
“He’s going to play – mask or no mask, he’ll play,” said Pardew. “I’ll just throw him out there.
“You need your warriors out there, and it’ll be nice for us to have Steven back.”
Stoke, meanwhile, are the bookmakers’ favourites to take all three points.
However, Pardew’s determined that his team take something from a fixture in which they were beaten 4-0 last season, the 50-year-old’s heaviest defeat as Newcastle manager.
“I think Stoke are a team that are in our world,” said Pardew.
“Them, Villa, Liverpool – teams like that – are all trying to aspire to the Spurs’ of the game. They’re in our world.
“It’s important that they don’t beat us, and we take something from the game. Even a point would be a good result at Stoke.”
Meanwhile, Yohan Cabaye has found his shooting boots – and he’ll be wearing them at the Britannia Stadium tonight.
The midfielder has netted stunning goals in the club’s last two games.
And Cabaye’s looking to chip in with more strikes over the coming campaign, starting against Stoke City.
Alan Pardew’s fourth-placed side are looking to consolidate their position in the Premier League ahead of back to back away games against the two Manchester clubs next month.
While Newcastle are out of the Carling Cup for another season, Cabaye was heartened by the spirit United, trailing 2-0, showed to comeback with two injury-time goals at Blackburn Rovers last midweek.
“We lost the game, but we had a good spirit to get back,” Cabaye said. “We lost two goals, but came back to 2-2 and 3-3.
“We have a good spirit, and I think we have to keep positive. We have to work and look forward to the Stoke game.
“We have to work and stay near the top of the league. I think we can do it.”
Kevin Nolan scored 12 league goals last season, and Cabaye – who has taken his place alongside Tiote in the centre of midfield - is confident he can bring more goals to Newcastle.
“Of course – I hope so,” he said. “I train to shoot and score”