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Pardew leaps to Best’s defence

NEWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew has hit back at Giovanni Trapattoni in defence of Magpies striker Leon Best and stated that Best is good enough to play for Ireland in next month's play-off against Estonia.

Best has not played for Ireland since he came on as sub against Brazil 19 month ago and only last week, Trap defended the player's exclusion from the squad on the basis that Best did not work hard enough, a statement which upset Pardew.

“I was disappointed with the manager's comment because I think it was unfair,” said Pardew.

“Trapattoni has some very good strikers, make no mistake about that. But to question (Best’s) work-rate is unfair.

“Some managers don't want their players involved on the international scene. I'll never be like that. I don't mind, it's good for the club. And Leon Best is playing as well as any player in that Ireland squad for sure.”

The Toon boss is the latest club manager to come out in defence of his player following a barbed comment from Trapattoni.

He added: “I wish him (Trapattoni) luck in the play-off game. And I think he should perhaps come out and look at Besty, it might change his mind.”