Alan Pardew insists Fabricio Coloccini’s New Year injury will not change Newcastle United’s transfer plans.
The Magpies captain tore medial knee ligaments in Thursday’s 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
However, with the central defender not expected to miss more than six weeks, Pardew sees no reason to change the plans drawn up with director of football Joe Kinnear.
He still has Mike Williamson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Steven Taylor fit and all could start at home to Cardiff City in this afternoon’s FA Cup third round tie.
Pardew said: “I’ve seen three or four centre-halves linked with us but I don’t see why I should do that.
“I’ve Mapou here who we paid £8.5m for – and he was very unlucky to come out of the side when he was doing well. We also have Steven Taylor, who we know is a great player, so I can’t see there being a situation where I need to do a knee-jerk reaction.
“Colo’s injury is a grade two tear and therefore doesn’t need surgery. It’s four to six weeks maximum.”
All the injury should guarantee is Taylor will not get the loan that his agent was pining for at the end of 2013. The former England under-21 defender is in need of competitive football, having only had 48 minutes this season.
He started it as one half of Pardew’s preferred central defensive partnership but a red card at Manchester City and subsequent injuries have forced him down the pecking order.
Pardew added: “I wouldn’t call him fourth choice.
“You could argue Mike Williamson was fourth choice and now he’s first choice so it changes very quickly in the Premier League.
“I have no worries about Steven if I have to play him.”
Another out of favour at St James’ Park is Gabriel Obertan, whose four appearances this season have come from the bench.
Obertan (below) was close to joining Nottingham Forest in August and there were reports of him storming out of the ground after not being named in Sunday’s matchday squad to play Arsenal.
“He’ll be involved today,” is all Pardew would say on that.
Pardew will also be without the suspended Mathieu Debuchy and, having complained about fatigue after using just 13 players from the start across three festive fixtures, feels some squad rotation will be inevitable today.
Cardiff ought to find extra energy because today sees Ole Gunnar Solskjaer take charge of his first game as an English manager.
Bluebirds’ owner Vincent Tan was widely ridiculed throughout December for his treatment of Solskjaer’s predecessor Malky Mackay – first telling the Scot to resign or be sacked, backtracking “for the foreseeable future”, then firing him days later.
Pardew has come to the eccentric Malaysian businessman’s defence, saying: “I don’t think the owner’s what he’s made out to be.
“The chairmen in the Premier League all have their own ways. He’s chosen Olly. Now he has to defend it and the only way to defend it is to support him and give him the players he wants.
“He didn’t want to do that with Malky so therefore it wasn’t going to continue.”