Robbie Misses Trip

Robbie Stockdale is out of the trip to Coventry on Saturday, so Alan Pardew will have to reshuffle the pack as he looks at his right back options.

"I don't think Robbie is going to be involved on Saturday," says Alan, "and I think the West Brom game might be a step too far for him as well.

"That is a real shame for him as he was starting to look better and better as each day went on, more comfortable with the players.

"It is a bit of a blow, but these things happen.

"He is very keen to stay and do his stuff; obviously when you have got loan players you are always vulnerable to them being called back or whatever, but we will see how he goes."

Anton Ferdinand, who replaced Robbie at Spurs, Tomas Repka, who was suspended for that game, Hayden Mullins, who was cup tied but had a dead leg anyway, and Ian Pearce have all got claims to coming in in that position.

"I have got to be honest and say I was a bit disappointed about the press's criticism of Anton; mistakes were made in the game but his was highlighted because Spurs scored from it," says Alan.

"But he has come on as a sub on the night in a massive game and acquitted himself quite well; he has got a career to look forward to.

"There are parts of his game that need to improve - his concentration is one of them and is probably the reason we conceded the goal.

"But he is a talent, it is all there for him, and he just needs to put it all together, and it is another potential good young player for us.

"We haven't got any cover at right back; Tomas has played out of position there and done very well; Anton has had to fill in there in what is not his natural position, but I think he did well on the night.

"Hayden and Pearcey are both available and obviously Kevin Horlock came through on Wednesday.

"If Matthew Etherington shakes off this very sore toe that he has got - which isn't broken, so that is good news - we have got a decent bench and start to look like a team that could get promoted.

"At the moment we look just short of that."