Injured Remy ruled out of Stoke clash

The Newcastle loanee has missed the last five games with a calf problem and Alan Pardew initially hoped to include him on Saturday, but has now confirmed the striker will be absent
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has revealed that top scorer Loic Remy is not fit to return for Saturday's visit to Stoke City.

The striker has not featured since last month's 4-1 win at Hull City because of a calf injury, with the club scoring just one goal and losing four during the loanee's five-game absence.

23/10 Newcastle are 23/10 with bet365 to draw with Stoke on Saturday
Remy is thought to be nearing full fitness, with Pardew hinting at a possible inclusion on Wednesday, but the manager has now confirmed the trop to the Britianna Stadium will come too soon.

"He won't make this game, but he's training," Pardew told reporters. "We like to think he'll make the next game [against Swansea City].

"To lose the spearhead of your team is difficult, he's somebody who's scored a lot of goals this year."

However, Pardew may be able to call on goalkeeper Tim Krul, who has missed Newcastle's last two games - 4-0 defeats to Southampton and Manchester United - with a knee problem.

"Tim's been training. I think he's got a chance of playing," the former West Ham boss added.

Newcastle have come in for criticism following their heavy reverses to Southampton and United, which were preceded by a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Everton.

And Pardew has urged his players to lift the gloom by completing a league double over Stoke after a 5-1 success against Mark Hughes' team back in December.

"I think, among the group, we're just trying to get the best performance we can, and keep it as positive as we can going into Stoke," he explained.

"The most important thing for the club this weekend is to try and get a result at Stoke, and to put in a performance that we can be proud of."