MAPOU Yanga-Mbiwa seized his unexpected chance against Hull City with both hands – and eased the pain of Fabricio Coloccini’s absence.
Yanga-Mbiwa was preferred to Steven Taylor in defence after captain Coloccini was given compassionate leave.
Coloccini was allowed to return to his native Argentina on the eve of the Premier League game because of a family bereavement.
Newcastle won 4-1 at the KC Stadium to move within two points of seventh-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand.
And the performance of Yanga-Mbiwa, pictured, alongside Mike Williamson heartened United manager Pardew, who says he will take his showing “into consideration” when he selects his starting XI for the club’s visit to Fulham on March 15.
Coloccini – who had only just returned from the knee injury he suffered on New Year’s Day – is likely to be back for the game at Craven Cottage.
“It didn’t disrupt things too much because Mapou was with us, and it was one for one,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“The best thing in those circumstances was the guys who played to produce a top performance, which they did.
“It’s given an opportunity to Mapou, which he’s taken.
“I’ll take that into consideration when I pick my next team, obviously.”
It had been Mbiwa’s first league start since the January 18 win over West Ham United at Upton Park.
Long-serving Taylor deputised for Coloccini during his most recent absence.
However, Pardew feels Taylor – who had been fielded as the left centre-half – is more comfortable on the right, the position occupied by Williamson since late September.
“I took Mapou over Steven because I think Steven is a little bit uncomfortable on the left,” he said. “He prefers Willo’s channel.
“So I made the decision after the Spurs game that – Mapou and Colo on the left side, and Willo and Tayls will contest the right side.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more from Mapou. He was terrific.”
* Newcastle United’s Under-21s will face Whitley Bay in the semi-finals of the Northumberland FA Senior Cup.
The home tie, likely to be staged at Whitley Park, must be played on or before March 23.
Ashington entertain Blyth Spartans in the other semi-final.