Magpies striker Andy Carroll may yet figure in tomorrow’s friendly against France after improvement to the groin injury sustained in Saturday’s goalless draw with Fulham.
It was feared the 21-year-old, who has seven goals for Newcastle already this season, would miss out on a full England debut at Wembley, but The Independent reports that Fabio Capello and his staff have gone the extra mile to give Carroll every chance of playing and the signs are currently positive.
Carroll was unable to train on Monday but told the medical team he felt his groin was improving. Normally a player still unfit 36 hours before a game would be sent home but Capello’s determination to play the young striker saw Carroll kept with the squad.
Following a scan last night Carroll has been passed fit to train with the squad at Wembley this morning and if he comes through unscathed he is expected to start against Laurent Blanc’s Les Bleus tomorrow evening.
No Jan signings.
Chris Hughton has said he will not look to add to his squad in the winter transfer window.
The Magpies boss told The Journal that despite the loss to injury of loan signing Hatem Ben Arfa – a double leg-break expected to keep the French winger out for most of the season – he is happy with his existing lot.
“I am disappointed to have lost a player of Hatem’s quality but we will not overreact to one injury in what is a very strong squad,” he said. “We won’t be adding to the squad in January – I feel we have a lot of strength in depth with the players we have already and there’s no need to add to it.
“We completed our squad before the last transfer window and I’m extremely pleased with the players we have brought in. Mike Ashley and the board were very financially supportive and together we did some very good business in the summer.”
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has admitted that the loss of Cheick Tiote to suspension is a blow.
The Ivory Coast midfielder, 24, has been a revelation since his arrival from FC Twente in the summer. However his combative style has seen him pick up five yellow cards already this season, meaning he now misses the weekend trip to Bolton Wanderers.
“It’s a big blow,” Hughton told NUFCTV. “I think it’s always going to be difficult for Cheik, the type of player that he is, to get through to that time without the number of bookings, so it would have been difficult for him anyway.”