NEWCASTLE manager Alan Pardew admits he is putting pressure on his medical team to get injured players available again – as Davide Santon could return against Everton tomorrow.
Reports suggest the Italian defender could be in line for a role on the bench for the visit of the Toffees at St James’s Park.
Santon hasn’t featured all season after a knee injury but returned to training last week.
And with Newcastle’s defensive options stretched for the festive fixtures, the full-back is set for a shock appearance in the Newcastle squad.
Pardew revealed after the defeat at Manchester United on Boxing Day that he’d pencilled in Santon and Jonas Gutierrez for a behind-closed-doors game next week in a bid to get their fitness up.
And he says he’s putting pressure on his physios to get some of United’s walking wounded back on the pitch.
“The truth of it is we’re too many players missing,” said Pardew.
“We’re nine senior players missing and it’s too much.
“We’ve got two goalies missing and the margins are beginning to tell.
“We need them back and I’m putting my (medical) team under pressure to bring them back.”
Paul Dummett was substituted at Old Trafford because of a back injury, while fellow defender Massadio Haidara wasn’t on the bench, meaning Jack Colback finished the game at left-back.