SHANE Ferguson has been put on standby for Newcastle United’s visit to Stoke City.
The teenager made his third appearance for the club in Saturday’s defeat to Everton at St James’s Park.
Ferguson was given his chance at left-back because of an injury to Jose Enrique, who was substituted before the break after feeling his hamstring.
Enrique is now a major doubt for Newcaslte’s visit to the Britannia Stadium a week on Saturday.
The 25-year-old has been troubled by hamstring injuries in the past, and will have intensive treatment over the next week and a half in the hope he can make manager Alan Pardew’s starting 11.
However, if Enrique doesn’t make it, then 19-year-old Ferguson, already a full Northern Ireland international, could come into the equation.
Pardew – who had got Ferguson stripped when Enrique went off shortly before the break, but didn’t bring him on until midway through the second half – admits he had doubts about his readiness for the Premier League.
But Pardew – who admitted before the game slightly-built Ferguson needs to build up his strength – was impressed with his gutsy performance.
And he could hand Ferguson his full league debut against Stoke rather than switch Danny Simpson to right-back.
“That cameo’s going to do him and me the world of good,” Pardew said.