SIR BOBBY ROBSON is hoping key Newcastle United striker Craig Bellamy will be fit enough to come though two games in 48 hours this week.

Newcastle face Dutch side NAC Breda on Wednesday in the first round of the UEFA Cup before making the trip to Arsenal on Friday night.

Bellamy was at the centre of a club-versus-country row earlier this month when he played for Wales after missing Newcastle games with a knee injury.

The quick front-man, who played the 90 minutes in the Magpies' 0-0 draw against Bolton on Saturday, made his return to club action at Everton on September 13. Now, after two matches, Robson hopes Bellamy will be able to play in his side's next two fixtures.

"Craig will be fit to play Wednesday and we'll see from there," said the Newcastle boss.

"He has been great in training. He is not at his very best yet but he is fit now and his knee seems to have settled own.

"He needs to pick up his game but he will come good. He has got the know-how and he'll come good. He did well against Bolton and I was pleased that he did not get involved in outside factors. He kept out of trouble."

Bellamy was switched to right-midfield in the second half on Saturday, as Robson hauled off Nolberto Solano in favour of towering front-man Shola Ameobi.

And the Magpies chief admits he could use Bellamy on the flank more often if he believes they are in need of more aerial presence in the final third.

"I tried Craig out wide, like at Everton, and I thought he did very well," said Robson.

"Having him out there and putting Shola Ameobi up front gives us that extra option because we don't win the headers with Craig up there.

"He is nuisance value out wide and his pace down the right flank can cause problems."

Not only was Bellamy a nuisance to the opposition, but he was also complaining to his teammates about the service he was getting at times.

But Robson does not expect anything else from the temperamental former Coventry player, he said: "Craig has always been like that and he will never change. He has come to life here and he has won his popularity by his performance.

"He has been unlucky with his knee injury this season but after the break he has had he will be OK. He will come good and he will score goals."

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