ALAN Pardew says the whole is greater than the sum of the parts at Newcastle United.
Pardew – whose side take on Bolton Wanderers at St James’s Park today – has been beset by injuries this season.
Defensive stalwart Steven Taylor was ruled out for the season in October, and a number of other key players, among them Sylvain Marveaux, Peter Lovenkrands and Sammy Ameobi, have suffered long-term injuries, testing a thin squad to the full.
Yet each time a player has gone into the treatment room, another has come to the fore.
Most recently, James Perch has shone in the absence of influential captain Fabricio Coloccini, with the defender having been outstanding alongside Mike Williamson in the victories over Swansea City and Liverpool.
“It’s part of having a great squad, and a great ethic in the team,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“It was a great victory (against Swansea). They were outstanding. They didn’t mess about at the back, and they didn’t look to play out from the back.
“Perchy’s a bit uncomfortable on that left-hand side, but he hit a few good balls down that channel, and defended it, as you’d expect.”
Williamson has never had a song in his time at Newcastle, and Pardew feels that needs to be put right.
“Willo’s the dominant force for us in the air, and he’s very, very important,” added Pardew.
“He doesn’t get much praise, but he’s smart.
“Perchy’s got a song already, but Willo’s played about 20-odd games, and no one mentions him, so I’m mentioning him.”
Asked if hamstring victim Coloccini would be back to face Bolton, Pardew said: “I doubt it.”
Midfielder Cheik Tiote is also unlikely to play.
Meanwhile, relegation-threatened Bolton have had a shorter turnaround than Newcastle, having played on Saturday, when they were beaten 3-0 at home by Fulham.
And Pardew – who was at the Reebok Stadium to watch Owen Coyle’s team ahead of their visit to St James’s Park – is hopeful the extra day’s rest will prove a factor in the game.
“The problem for them is that they’ve only got a two-day turnaround,” he said. “That’s going to be tough on them. They had a tough game. Hopefully, we’ll be slight favourites.”