Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa

Hatem Ben Arfa still on course for comeback

HATEM Ben Arfa is still on track to make his long-awaited comeback at the end of this month despite being laid low by an illness.

Sunderland's Craig Gardner

Craig Gardner sees no conflict of interest

CRAIG Gardner believes Danny Graham will easily be able to separate being a Newcastle United fan and a Sunderland player.

Danny Guthrie

Alan Pardew did not want Danny Guthrie to go

ALAN Pardew says there is no way he could have persuaded Danny Guthrie to stay at Newcastle – even though he was desperate to keep the midfielder on Tyneside.

The Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Winter gloom is lifted as Sunderland roar into life

A REARRANGED relegation battle played out on a cold December evening may just turn out to be the most vital game of Sunderland's season.

Phil Bardsley

Sunderland could be without key players at Old Trafford

SUNDERLAND are sweating over three key players ahead of their trip to Old Trafford on Saturday, writes NEIL CAMERON.

Brian McDermott and Martin O'Neill inspect Sunderland's pitch

It never rains but it pours for Martin O’Neill

GIMME some of that English rain,” roared Bruce Springsteen, according to Sunderland’s club magazine, when he played the Stadium of Light this summer.

Adam Johnson

Martin O'Neill to help Adam Johnson reach his peak

MARTIN O’Neill is determined to bring the best out of Adam Johnson, having insisted the England star’s arrival at Sunderland adds much-needed “excitement, vitality and brilliance” to his ranks.

Gael Bigirimana of Coventry City

Gael Bigirimana expected to join Newcastle United

NEWCASTLE United are set to clinch the signing of promising Coventry City youngster Gael Bigirimana in the next few days – and set him the challenge of breaking into the first team next season.

Matthew Bates backing Boro to stay in promotion fight

MIDDLESBROUGH skipper Matthew Bates has urged fans to look at the bigger picture despite the heart-break of the last two results.

Cardiff hit by Craig Bellamy blow

CARDIFF shrugged off the loss of captain Craig Bellamy to gain the upper hand in their npower Championship play-off semi-final with Reading after a tense goalless draw.

Kevin Nolan

Kevin Nolan double puts Newcastle on the title brink

KEVIN Nolan fired Newcastle United to the brink of the Championship title with a clinical brace to clinch an impressive win over Reading.

Charlton 0, Reading 0

Charlton manager Alan Pardew was quick to praise referee Graham Poll for choosing not to send off Alexander Song during last night's goalless draw with Reading at The Valley.

Reading 3, Darlington 3

(aet, Reading win 4-2 on penalties) - Reading needed a penalty shoot-out to eliminate 10-man Darlington from the Carling Cup, writes Jon West.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer