FORGOTTEN man Tamas Kadar has been reassured that he still has a future at Newcastle United - once he has shown he deserves his chance.
The young Hungarian has been on stand-by since manager Alan Pardew handed him a squad number, 40, in light of the defensive crisis at the club.
But rather than pit the centre-back in to action at Norwich City on Saturday, the Newcastle boss chose to switch right-back Danny Simpson in to the middle to partner James Perch.
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There is a strong chance that captain Fabricio Coloccini will have recovered to face Swansea City this weekend, but Mike Williamson is unlikely to be match fit to return.
And with Steven Taylor ruled out for the rest of the season with Achilles trouble, Pardew knows he is hardly well blessed with defensive cover before he looks at strengthening in next month's transfer window.
Kadar is likely to figure in this afternoon's behind-closed-doors reserves game with Bolton, when Pardew will be keeping a close eye on the options he has available to him.
"Tamas is an option for us. He has played well for the reserves," said Pardew. "He is a player who has not had many opportunities and is looking to kick start his Newcastle career.
"We have had one or two who have come out of the woodwork here, who were supposedly not meant to be in the frame. Ryan Taylor is a prime example. So there is no reason why Tamas can't come into the side and do very, very well."
Kadar, 21, has struggled to step up to the first team stage since figuring in a few matches during Newcastle's promotion season in the Championship.
He has never been on the losing side for the Magpies in each of his 13 appearances, but with his contract due to expire at the end of the season there is a feeling he is running out of time to stay at St James' Park.
The fact Williamson is edging towards a comeback will certainly not help his cause. The 28-year-old is also expected to face Bolton this afternoon when he will look to build up his fitness towards a first team comeback.
Williamson has not started for Newcastle since injuring his ankle in the Carling Cup win at Scunthorpe United back in August.
"Williamson will be a tough call (for this week's game with Swansea," said Pardew. "He hasn't really done much. He might have a run around in the reserves (on Tuesday), but to ask him to play in the first team is a long shot."
Pardew could do with many of his injured players returning to the fold quickly after a run of four matches without a win has seen them drop down to seventh in the Premier League.
He should have Cheik Tiote back from a knee injury, but Danny Guthrie will not be back from a groin problem until the new year. To heighten the concerns, Dan Gosling now faces a three-match ban for his straight red card at Norwich for a foul on Russell Martin.
The Canaries knocked four past Newcastle's makeshift defence at Carrow Road and their manager, Paul Lambert, admitted he was surprised by Newcastle's blistering start to the campaign which had lifted them in to the top four.
Lambert said: "They're a really good side and you can see why they've been doing really well in the league. They're a threat up front.
"They're a handful, the Newcastle lads, because they're big, quick and strong. You don't get time to breathe.
"You can see why they're seventh because they're a good side. It's a big club with a big fanbase and you expect them to do well. It was only Newcastle's third defeat this season, which is incredible. But the league's really tough, really demanding."