Good News For Alan

Robbie Stockdale WILL be available to play against Spurs in the Carling cup after all.

Alan Pardew reveals that he has persuaded Boro boss Steve McLaren to change his mind about Robbie's eligibility for the game even though, for the moment at least, he is on loan, and he reveals:

"I pulled on his heart a little bit, said we were struggling and desperately needed him, and thankfully his conscience went hard enough to make the decision."

As for the longer term future of Robbie, Alan adds:

"That decision is his really and not mine; if he plays to the standard and shows us a level above what we have had there - which is effectively Tomas, a centre half, playing right back - then he has got a chance of staying here all year."

As for stories over the weekend linking Don Hutchison with a move, Alan says: "All those rumours are purely that and I can't get bogged down by them; the window is shut and we can't worry ourselves by that.

"Speculation about our players is going to continue all year; we have got to accept that because we are in the first division with Premier League players and other clubs are going to think they are going to get them.

"But as far as I am concerned it is going to be hard for these clubs to get them and if they want them they are going to have to pay over the odds."

As for claims that Jermain Defoe would move on in January, Alan says:

"I don't want to fight it off all year but I am sure I will have to."