NEWCASTLE United are hopeful that Paul Dummett WILL prove his fitness in time to face West Bromwich Albion.
The relegation-threatened club will be without suspended defenders Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson for Saturday’s home game.
As it stands, under-fire head coach John Carver has just one fit and available senior specialist defender – Fabricio Coloccini – available for the West Brom fixture.
Janmaat and Williamson were sent off in the weekend’s disastrous 3-0 defeat to Leicester City.
Dummett – who made his comeback from a knee injury at the King Power Stadium – suffered a hamstring problem.
After the game, under-fire head coach John Carver said: “We’ve got two more players suspended now, and Paul Dummett could also be out with a hamstring problem.”
As it stands, Carver has just one fit and available senior specialist defender – Fabricio Coloccini – available for the West Brom fixture, which comes after a run of eight successive Premier League defeats.
That sequence has left Newcastle just two points above third-from-bottom Sunderland, who have a game in hand.
Carver desperately needs height in his team against a side which well-organised, strong at set-pieces and adept at getting balls into the box.
And the early indications are that versatile Dummett can be patched up to play at centre-half alongside out-of-form captain Coloccini, who was found wanting against Leicester.
Carver has few other defensive options with long-serving Steven Taylor sidelined for the rest of the season.
The club’s only other available central defender is 19-year-old Lubomir Satka, who has made just one senior appearance at full-back and has not played any football on loan.
Carver had also hoped to have striker Papiss Demba Cisse available to face West Brom.
Cisse has served a seven-match ban for spitting, but he is yet to resume training, having had a screw taken out of his knee in March.
Meanwhile, West Brom go into the United game on a high after their weekend’s 1-0 success against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The result took the club to the 40-point mark, but Pulis – who was appointed in January after a poor run of results under Alan Irvine – still feels his team need another point to be safe from relegation, despite being five points ahead of Newcastle.
“I’m proud and relieved to get to the 40 points after looking at the other results,” he said.
“It looks as though it could go to the wire. Are we safe? We’ll see.
“I think we still need one more (point). It just shows how good the league is.
“Nobody gives up, and that’s the difference between this league and other leagues in Europe.
“Leicester and the other teams at the bottom have proved that again this year.”