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The Magpies boss currently has four first team defenders on the sidelines after losing Steven Taylor to a calf injury during the draw against Reading on Saturday

Alan Pardew has admitted that Newcastle are facing a defensive injury crisis as they head into their next two fixtures with only one fit senior centre back.

The Magpies lost Steven Taylor to a calf injury early in the second half of the 2-2 draw with Reading on Saturday as the former England under-21 defender joined captain Fabricio Coloccini on the sidelines.

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Taylor's latest injury will count as a huge blow to Pardew as Coloccini suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury in the League Cup tie with Manchester United last week after sitting out the previous three games.

Both will be absent for the Europa League clash with French club Bordeaux on Thursday, and are facing a race against time to be fit for the visit of Sir Alex Ferguson's side on Sunday.

Full backs Danny Simpson and Ryan Taylor are also currently in the treatment room and, with Mike Williamson the only recognised centre back in the squad, the former West Ham boss conceded that he is chronically short of cover.

"It's an area where we’re not strong at the minute," he told The Sun "We'll have to see what we’re going to do."

Pardew, who signed an eight-year contract last week, failed to strengthen his back four during the summer, with managing director Derek Llambias revealing that deals to sign Douglas and Mathieu Debuchy were not considered value for money.

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