Cabaye on France duty

Cabaye on France duty

Cabaye on France duty

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

Cabaye limped off in the first half of Newcastle's 2-1 win over Everton prior to the international break with a groin strain but the midfielder has since linked up with the France national squad.

Magpies boss Alan Pardew admitted he didn't expect Cabaye to play any football during the international break but despite missing Les Blues' 1-0 win over the USA on Friday night, the former Lille man is expected to feature when Laurent Blanc's side take on Belgium tonight.

Pardew is likely to keep a close eye on his prized midfielder tonight as he prepares his squad to face Premier League leaders Manchester City at the Ethiad Stadium this weekend.

Cabaye's form since arriving from the French champions in the summer has been a key factor behind the Tynesiders unbeaten start to the season and Pardew will give the 24-year-old every chance of being fit to face Roberto Mancini's side should be return from international duty unscathed.

Meanwhile, Brighton manager Gus Poyet has revealed he would like to keep Magpies keeper Steve Harper beyond his current loan deal.

The 36-year-old joined the Seagulls on an initial month-long loan at the end of October and has started each of their last four games, conceding twice.

Despite being the longest-serving player at Newcastle, Harper has fallen behind Dutchman Tim Krul and new arrival Rob Elliot in the pecking order.

And Poyet, who's side currently sit tenth in the Championship table, admits he is keen to extend the veteran keeper's loan deal until January.

"The idea in the beginning was it would be up to January," Poyet told the Brighton Argus.

"For some reasons, in the last few hours of negotiations, it changed to only a month. I don't like a month because players get used to how you play then go back, so I was as surprised as anyone.

"I was convinced it was for almost three months. It's very difficult to explain the reasons but it happened.

"I know it is difficult when somebody is on a short loan and they are a long way from home, so there are things we need to manage. We want the players to be happy here."

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