Ben Arfa to miss Southampton clash as Newcastle injury woes continue

The Magpies' French playmaker is expected to be out of action for the next few weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury in their Europa League clash with Maritimo
Hatem Ben Arfa is set to miss Newcastle's Premier League clash with Southampton this weekend, manager Alan Pardew has confirmed.

The Frenchman was substituted in the closing stages of the first half in Newcastle's Europa League clash with Maritimo, and is now expected to be absent for a number of weeks after suffering a strained hamstring.

Ben Arfa provided the assist for Sylvain Marveaux to give the Magpies a first-half lead. Brazilian striker Fidelis hit back for the Portuguese side late in the second period, but a point was enough for Newcastle to book their place in the knockout stages of the competition.

Pardew was pleased to secure qualification from the group stages, but admitted that the injuries sustained by Ben Arfa, and striker Papiss Cisse - who was replaced by Romain Amalfitano minutes in the second half - had a negative impact on his side's performance.

He told reporters: "We didn't have enough threat up the pitch, but we lost Hatem and Papiss and we lost Shola [Ameobi] yesterday so we didn’t have enough pressure to cause them problems, so that was disappointing.

"We're really stretched. Ben Arfa has a hamstring problem which will definitely keep him out of Sunday and probably next week. From then on, we don’t know, but it’s not a tear.
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"It’ll certainly keep him out for the immediate future. Cisse took a kick on the thigh and it tightened up a bit, so we had to take him off when we didn’t really want to. With no other striker on the bench, it was a bit problematic.

"I'm delighted we’re through, it's very important for us and how we're feeling, because up until the last 20 minutes we’ve been excellent in the tournament."

In spite of the current injury crisis Newcastle are faced with, Pardew hopes that some of their fringe players can contribute and help them recover from their recent dip in form.

He added: "Sylvain scored a good goal tonight. What he needs is consistency, but he's got the potential to be a star of the team. A few players need to step up to the plate now because we need them."