Newcastle United have received a number of fitness boosts ahead of Sunday’s big derby clash – while Cheick Tiote has insisted he is focused only on the game and not his future.
After Sunday’s 6-2 win over Norwich, assistant manager Paul Simpson has revealed there are no fresh injuries, and that the likes of Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara and Jack Colback – who were all doubts at one point in the build-up to the game – have come through with flying colours.
And Kevin Mbbau and Rolando Aarons could be in contention for the Stadium of Light trip too.
Simpson told the official site: “Going from the weekend, which normally happens when you have a nice victory, we haven’t got anybody reporting injuries.
“Everybody has trained, we’re delighted that Paul Dummett was able to get 60 minutes, which was always the plan. That plan worked fantastic and the fact Massadio Haidara was able to get the next part of the game.
“Jack Colback came through the game OK – delighted he didn’t pick up a yellow card so he is available for Sunday.
“Kevin Mbabu and Rolando Aarons joined in training today (Tuesday), so they will have a full week of training leading up to Sunday.
“So good news all round.”
Meanwhile, Tiote says he’s fully focused on Newcastle, despite speculation over his future.
Alan Pardew claimed last season that the player was ‘unsettled’ but after returning to the starting line-up at the weekend, the Ivorian says he’s committed to the club.
Tiote said: “I had my injury, and now I’m back. I will continue playing. Everyone wants to play, and that’s the only thing I want to do. I want to do my job on the pitch.”
The midfielder also insisted he still has a lot to offer the club, despite worries over his form and fitness.
Elsewhere, in the build-up to the derby we’ve been looking at some of the greatest players from the fixture over the last 120 years.
We’ve come up with a list of 26 stars from both teams who have contributed hugely. See our full list here.