Nile Ranger

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Nile Ranger will start Newcastle's final Europa League Group D fixture away at Bordeaux on Thursday night, manager Alan Pardew has revealed.

The 21-year-old striker has only just worked his way back into the Magpies' first team squad following 18 months out of the frame, but has impressed Pardew with his recent work ethic and application.

That was initially rewarded with a place on the substitutes' bench for United's last three Premier League fixtures, and now it has gone one step better for Ranger, who will make his European debut for the Club at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

"Nile will start," explained Pardew.

"I think he's probably the story of the last two or three months in terms of a positive. He's been out of the papers, he's been on time for the last eight to ten weeks and he's put in application on the training ground.

"I've never said to anyone 'It's all over, you're not getting a chance'. If you stick to the rules and put the ethic in I'll give you a chance. And that's all it is for him at the moment: a chance, and we hope he takes it.

"We know he's got talent. Hopefully he puts it in on the pitch."

Pardew confirmed that Newcastle have little choice but to field a youthful side against Bordeaux as they look to top Group D, having already qualified for the knockout stage of the competiton.

Gael Bigirimana - fresh from his wonder goal against Wigan - will start, along with Shane Ferguson and Sammy Ameobi, while French playmaker Sylvain Marveaux will get another chance to impress.

"I have brought everybody who is fit, everybody who is fit has come - but we have included a few young lads, for sure," said the boss.

"There will be some good young players on show. Bigi, who played on Monday, will play.

"He's obviously in good form and has good confidence from Monday night. Fergie and Sammy will both play and they have good confidence from that win and I'll be looking for good performances from them.

"So will Sylvain, who played very well. He will start as well."