| 10.6°C Dublin

Pardew: Gutierrez call was a 'pure football decision'

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has insisted the club took "a pure football decision" over midfielder Jonas Gutierrez's future.

The 31-year-old is expected to return to Tyneside within the next few weeks after winning his battle against testicular cancer.

He will do so after quotes attributed to him from South America suggested he was told to find another club following his diagnosis.

Gutierrez's Magpies future, however, had been in doubt for some time and Pardew is adamant that a man who is held in great affection within the camp will be welcomed with open arms.

He said: "It was a pure football decision and those are decisions that have to be made.

"We've supported him and tried to do what we can when his illness was made known to us before it was known publicly.

"What he has done is absolutely marvellous, to recover like he has. I believe he's picking up an award. We're very proud of what he's done.

"He needs to rest assured it was purely a football decision."

Meanwhile, Pardew is facing an injury crisis as he attempts to extend his side's five-game winning run against QPR tomorrow.

The 53-year-old has confirmed Argentina international Fabricio Coloccini will be missing as he battles to shake off a calf injury, while Steven Taylor, whose form alongside his captain at the back has been a feature of the Magpies' improvement, is a major doubt with the knee problem which kept him out of the 2-0 win at West Brom last time out.

Midfielders Cheick Tiote and Rolando Aarons both remain on the casualty list too, although it is in central defence where Pardew is hardest hit.

However, with Mike Williamson now fit and youngster Paul Dummett having impressed when drafted into the middle from left-back, the manager is not unduly concerned.

Key to that run has been the form of 21-year-old striker Ayoze Perez, whose three goals in as many Premier League games include winners against Tottenham and Liverpool.

That return has seen him touted as a potential new striking sensation on Tyneside just months after his summer arrival from Tenerife.


Privacy