Pardew ready to give young guns a chance
Newcastle United’s flight to Bordeaux was delayed yesterday afternoon due to snow on Tyneside but, with Alan Pardew’s side already qualified for the knockout stages, any resulting stress proved minimal.
A young side, featuring possibly as many as six academy graduates, is likely to be selected in south-west France this evening allowing senior players to rest before Monday’s league trip to Fulham.
Currently one point behind the Group D leaders, Bordeaux, Newcastle know victory could offer them an “easier” knockout draw but Pardew has said that finishing second does not overly concern him.
Accordingly Demba Ba, Cheik Tiote and Davide Santon – who all suffered knocks during Monday’s 3-0 win against Wigan – were among those first-team players left at home as Pardew offered places on the Bordeaux-bound flight to two reserves, Yven Moyo and Conor Newton.
Midfielders Newton, 21, and 20-year-old Moyo are yet to make a senior appearance for the club, and have been included along with the slightly more experienced Gael Bigirimana, Mehdi Abeid and Adam Campbell.
Senior striker Shola Ameobi is available again after recovering from a groin injury and he was joined on the plane by goalkeeper Tim Krul, defenders Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson and fellow striker Papiss Cisse.
Bordeaux, like Newcastle, have already qualified and need only to avoid defeat to finish top of Group D.