Alan Pardew Talks About Midfield Duo Absence
Yohan Cabye is expected to be out until at least February with his injury, while Cheick Tiote will be on African Cup Of Nations duty in January/February.
“This is a critical period, from now until (end of) January. I do feel after January this team is definitely going to be stronger but we are going to lose Cheick, we have obviously lost Cabaye and we have got some big teams coming, big clubs, bigger clubs than us and there aren’t many bigger than us.
It will be a real test in the next two months. We have got to really nail ourselves down and get as many points as we can and see where we are.
If someone said we were five points from sixth at the end of January, I would take that now”.
Last season Ba and Tiote played against Manchester United then missed the FA Cup third round and beyond, the African Cup of Nations final is on February 10 and there is a two week Premier League gap after we play Spurs away on February 9.
Potentially we could have both Tiote and Cabaye back for Southampton at home on February 23 as well as Steven Taylor, the bad news is that including that match there will only be twelve Premier League games left at that stage.
Going into the Fulham match we are NINE points off sixth so I think like Alan Pardew I’d be biting your hand off if you offered five points off sixth when they are back.
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