STEPHEN Ireland is on standby to make his Newcastle United debut against Everton.
The midfielder, on a half-season loan from Aston Villa, took part in full training for the first time today since his deadline-day move last month.
With Joey Barton struggling with the thigh injury which kept him out of Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers, and Ryan Taylor suspended after his dismissal, manager Alan Pardew could turn to Ireland.
And Pardew has revealed Ireland has told him he would be ready to play by text after Barton was pulled out of the team.
“Stephen could make his debut against Everton, but it depends on Joey,” Pardew said.
“Ryan’s suspended, and Stephen has a great opportunity. He sent me a text saying ‘I’m ready to play’.
“He knew Joey got injured in training, and fair play to him – that’s what you want. You want players who are desperate to play.”
Alan Pardew admitted Newcastle United had a “tough day” at the office.
But the club’s manager felt the two points dropped against Bolton Wanderers won’t prove disastrous.
Pardew and his players had gone into Saturday’s game looking to consolidate their position in the top half of the Premier League.
Newcastle remain in ninth place, a point behind Sunderland, and have another home game on Everton, when Everton visit St James’s Park.
“We’ve got everything to play for,” Pardew said.
Captain Kevin Nolan gave United the perfect start with a goal against his former club.
But Daniel Sturridge levelled before the break, and Newcastle – who had lost Joey Barton in the warm-up – were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Ryan Taylor was dismissed.
“From a manager’s point of view it was a tough day,” said Pardew. “We had a bad break at the start of the game by losing Joey in the warm-up.
“That was 20 minutes before the game. Ryan Taylor came into the game in his place, and we didn’t notice the seam if I’m honest.
“I thought Ryan was terrific, and perhaps we should have been 2-0 up. That’s the galling thing.
“I’m frustrated about that, and then we gifted them a goal. As a manager, I’m frustrated about that.
“The ref was annoying me too. Then poor old Ryan took a bad touch in the central area, and tried to make up for it by being over zealous in the challenge.
“He’s got sent off, and he hasn’t got a malicious bone in his body.”
Meanwhile, Bolton manager Owen Coyle left Tyneside happy enough with the efforts of his players as they ended a run of six consecutive away league defeats.
He said: “I felt we were in the ascendancy in the second half even.”