Newcastle boss Pardew set to stand by three at the back

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NEWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew could again play three at the back – as he feels the club is “overloaded” with centre-halves.

Pardew fielded Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor against Stoke City last weekend in a surprise move.

Newcastle had conceded 11 goals in their three previous Premier League games.

And Pardew – who used Paul Dummett and Vurnon Anita as wing-backs – felt the ploy, for the most part, worked at the Britannia Stadium, where Newcastle were undone by a misdirected cross from Erik Pieters.

Pardew is assessing his options for Saturday’s Premier League home game against Swansea City, for which right-back Mathieu Debuchy could be fit after a six-game absence.

“I tried to play three and have a look at it, and we did a really good job,” Pardew said.

“I thought we had a good base to the game in terms of how we were set up.

“We’re obviously overloaded with quality centre-backs.

“It’s something I’m looking at as we have Colo, Tayls, Mapou (Yanga-Mbiwa) and Willo.”

Injury-hit Pardew – who also hopes to have leading scorer Loic Remy back – must find a way to win with the players he has available.

Travelling fans at Stoke chanted, for the first time, for the 52-year-old to be sacked, and the home crowd could on him turn if things go against them against Swansea.

“As far as I’m concerned, we have to get a system that works for us with the players we have available,” added Pardew.

“We’ve got 10 senior players missing – that’s a problem.”

United are ninth in the table with four games left to play.

Meanwhile, midfielder Moussa Sissoko – who has a hamstring problem – could be fit for the visit to Arsenal on April 28, having tweeted that he will be “back soon”.

Sissoko suffered the injury in the 4-0 defeat to Southampton late last month.