Steve McClaren says he won’t be afraid to pitch new boy Seydou Doumbia in against Chelsea – despite his lack of fitness.
The striker made his first appearance for the club this week.
You can see what he’s got – he’s a finisher. I’m looking forward to the time he steps on and plays.Steve McClaren
Doumbia, signed on loan from AS Roma last week, played 45 minutes of Newcastle’s Under-21 Premier League debut to Stoke City at St James’s Park.
However, the 28-year-old looked short of fitness.
Doumbia – who had spent the first half of the season on loan at CSKA Moscow – hasn’t played a competitive game for two months because of the winter break in Russia.
But head coach McClaren feels he is fit enough to make a contribution at Stamford Bridge, where Aleksandar Mitrovic will again lead the line.
Asked if he was fit enough to play and start – if needed – McClaren said: “Yes, I think so.
“You can see what he’s got – he’s a finisher.
“I’m looking forward to the time he steps on and plays.”