Pardew excited by ‘mouthwatering’ prospect of fully-fit Newcastle squad

The Magpies boss believes the returns to full fitness of Hatem Ben Arfa, Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko will significantly boost their chances of avoiding relegation.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is "excited" at the prospect of having a full-strength squad to pick from heading into the final 12 games of the Premier League season.

The Magpies’ five January additions had prompted back-to-back wins for the first time this term - including a 3-2 victory over Chelsea - only for a Gareth Bale masterclass to put that run to a halt as Tottenham won 2-1 on Saturday.

But Pardew is adamant his side will excel once French trio Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran make a return to full fitness.

“It does excite me,” he told the Daily Mirror. “You’d like to think with Gouffran on one side and Ben Arfa coming back on the other side and Moussa Sissoko [back to fitness] - blimey that’s mouthwatering for us.

He added, “Cabaye coming back has been the bigger bonus than perhaps the boys we brought in.”

Newcastle returns to Europa League action on Feb. 14 when it hosts Metalist Kharkiv before traveling to Ukraine for the second leg the following week.

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