Newcastle United’s Coloccini and Taylor in race for derby

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FABRICIO Coloccini and Steven Taylor are set to return to the Newcastle United line-up against Sunderland.

The club’s defensive lynchpins are pencilled in to rejoin training later this week.

However, goalkeeper Tim Krul – who has missed Newcastle’s last seven games through injury – is doubtful for the big derby.

“They (Coloccini and Taylor) have got a very good chance,” Pardew said. “They should train this week, with a bit of luck. That’ll help.”

Coloccini suffered a recurrance of a hamstring problem in the club’s Capital One Cup defeat at Old Trafford last week, while Taylor hurt his calf in the 2-2 draw at Reading the weekend before last.

Pardew is desperate to have both players back to face the Black Cats.

“You look at certain players for this game, and they know what it’s about,” he added.

“We’re going to have to make sure we get a team out there which knows how important this game is to the fans in terms of the passion and commitment of the team.

“I hope we can really give (the fans) something to cheer about at Sunderland.

“Obviously, it’s a huge game for the city. We know how much it means, and we’ve reminded the players. We wanted to win this game and go into it in really good fettle, but we haven’t.

“We have to go in there, roll our sleeves up and give it a go.”

Meahnwhile, Krul – who suffered an elbow injury on international duty with Holland last month – faces a battle to be involved on Wearside.

Asked whether Krul would be fit in time, Pardew added: “I’m not so sure.”

Coloccini, Pardew’s captain, and Taylor were missed at the back on Sunday, when Newcastle were beaten 3-0 by Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side scored two early goals from set-pieces when Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra lost their markers to head home from corners.

And Pardew was frustrated at the lapses in concentration which left his team chasing the game.

After going 2-0 behind, Newcastle fought back and enjoyed an equal share of possession. But they couldn’t turn that into goals, and Tom Cleverley ended any hopes of a comeback with a third goal for the visitors, finding the top corner from long range.