Jonas In Contention For Canaries
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle United FC
Alan Pardew is pleased to have Jonas Gutierrez back at Benton and admits the Argentine could "potentially" be involved against Norwich
By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
The return to training of Jonas Gutierrez means that Alan Pardew has a full squad at his disposal for Saturday's visit of Norwich City.
Argentine ace Gutierrez was allowed to return home last month for personal reasons, but has been back at the Club's Benton base this week.
With Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini also fully recovered from injury, long-term absentee Ryan Taylor was the only senior player unable to take part in Thursday morning's practice session.
And when asked if Gutierrez - who hasn't started since the opening fixture of the season at Manchester City - could be involved at the weekend, Pardew replied: "Potentially, yeah.
"He's fine. He's trained this week and we're really pleased to have him in and around us.
"With everybody back, there's real competition for places."
Newly-crowned Wonga.com Player of the Month Mathieu Debuchy will miss out as he serves a one-match ban for picking up five yellow cards and the Magpies boss admitted: "It's not ideal because the back four's had two clean sheets against two of the best sides in the division so that's something that's forced upon us.
"But we've got plenty of players to be able to cope with that and I don't see a massive problem for us there.
"We've got everyone training today and that's good news for this Club. All our senior players are ready coming into a really big, thick part of the season in terms of games.
"This time last year, we were in a terrible position with injuries; this year we're the complete opposite."
On Tuesday, France overturned a 2-0 first-leg reverse against Ukraine to qualify for the World Cup, meaning that a whole host of Magpies players could represent the Club in Brazil during the summer.
But Pardew wants them to switch their attention back to Club, rather than country, on Saturday as Newcastle look to attack the upper echelons of the league table.
"I think it's important to focus very much on what's important for us, and that's Norwich," he said.
"Today was about letting that one go. It's great for them that they can look forward to the draw for the World Cup but for us, Norwich is the most important game for us.
"We've got ourselves in a poised position - now we need to capitalise on that, something we've not done well in the last 18 months.
"Going back two years, we were capitalising on these positions and has what this team needs to being home,
"If we win we can put ourselves right in the mix. For us, it's a great opportunity and we don't want to pass on those opportunities. They don't come around very often in the Premier League.
"We've got a home game against a side that are off the back of a win. If we get ourselves in a good place with 50,000 - I expect a full house on Saturday - that's going to make a big advantage and we need to make sure we carry that through."
Norwich came from behind to beat West Ham in their last outing to relieve some of the pressure from former Magpies manager Chris Hughton.
And his successor at St. James' Park said: "It was a great result for him. He did what he needed to do at half time, imposed his authority on them and they responded. That's what good managers do.
"He is a good manager - he did a fantastic job here - and I'll certainly be looking forward to seeing him.
"But obviously we don't want him to get any points so we'll make it difficult for him."
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