Following last night’s defeat at Old Trafford, Alan Pardew was typically upbeat but did acknowledge an area where he was short on numbers.

“I thought we were terrific as I thought we were every bit as good as Manchester United, as an away team. We knew if we could get Papiss on and if he got a chance he’d score, we had him waiting to come on at 1-0.

Coloccini is a bit sore and whether we play him on Saturday I don’t know. I’m not sure if I should have played Williamson but we’re short at centre-half”.

Despite putting a brave front on a smaller than ideal squad in the early stages of the season, he looks to now have made clear his disappointment that Newcastle didn’t manage to add the extra commanding centre-half that he stated categorically he was going to bring in at the start of the transfer window.