Newcastle's defensive problems mount as Coloccini and Debuchy are both ruled out (From The Northern Echo)
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Newcastle's defensive problems mount as Coloccini and Debuchy are both ruled out
NEWCASTLE UNITED are facing a defensive headache after Mathieu Debuchy and Fabricio Coloccini were both ruled out of the club's next three games.
Debuchy was dismissed for a two-footed lunge as Newcastle suffered a New Year's Day defeat at West Brom yesterday and will miss Saturday's FA Cup tie with Cardiff City and the next two league games with Manchester City and West Ham through suspension.
The Magpies are also set to be without their skipper, Coloccini, for an even longer spell after he damaged his medial knee ligaments at the Hawthorns.
Coloccini could be sidelined for up to six weeks with the problem, and Alan Pardew will insist that Steven Taylor remains on Tyneside during this month's transfer window as Newcastle's defensive resources are stretched.
“It has been a bad afternoon,” said Pardew, after Saido Berahino's 87th-minute penalty sent his side crashing to a 1-0 defeat. “Not only will we lose Debuchy for three games, but Colo also looks to have done something with his medial ligaments. It is early days, but we could be looking at between four and six weeks out.”
While Coloccini's injury was unfortunate with the Argentinian not suffering his problem as the result of a challenge, Debuchy's forthcoming absence will be completely self-inflicted.
The full-back threw himself into a two-footed lunge, and while he unquestionably won the ball and barely made contact with West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob, the ferocity of the tackle and lack of control over it meant referee Lee Mason was left with no other option than to reach for a straight red card.
“I don't think we can have too many complaints really,” admitted Pardew. “I think Mathieu has been our best player over the last period, and he's an honest player too.
“He genuinely went for the ball and there was no malicious intent, but you can't take off with two feet and he knows that. We're going to suffer, and so will he. It'll be three games. He is going to be a big miss, and it certainly altered things today.”
Fully deserving of at least a draw prior to Debuchy's dismissal, Newcastle looked like claiming a point even with ten men.
Liam Ridgewell wasted a glorious opportunity by shooting wide from close range, but the Magpies shot themselves in the foot again as they handed West Brom a penalty with three minutes remaining.
Tim Krul rashly raced from his line as Matej Vydra sprinted through the middle, and the goalkeeper can count himself fortunate to have not even been booked after he brought the substitute crashing to the floor.
“I thought it was a penalty,” said Pardew. “Fortunately, the forward had a big touch, otherwise we might have lost another player. I thought the referee got that right, and that was the decisive factor in a very, very tight game.
“With this programme we're on, you're always going to be struggling at this stage. It was a heavy pitch with heavy legs, and both teams looked jaded.”
With the transfer window having opened yesterday, Pardew is expected to discuss potential signings with director of football Joe Kinnear next week.
The club have been monitoring wide players and strikers in the last few weeks, although it remains to be seen whether yesterday's developments have an impact on their actions.
“It's something we're going to look at, but whether we do (sign someone) or do not will depend on circumstances and who we think is right for us and the club,” said Pardew. “We'll see.”
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