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Pardew confident Taylor will be available for the derby
ALAN PARDEW is confident Steven Taylor will be fit for Sunday's trip to Sunderland, but the Newcastle manager insists he would have no qualms about exposing Paul Dummett to the pressure-cooker environment of a Wear-Tyne derby if the need arose.
With Fabricio Coloccini nursing a groin injury and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa sure to be suspended following his dismissal in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool, Newcastle are short of defensive options as they head into their biggest away game of the season.
Taylor, so often a key figure in recent derby encounters, has not featured since receiving a straight red card at Manchester City on the opening weekend of the season, with a hamstring injury extending his spell on the sidelines.
He is due to return to full training later today, and with a full week of work under his belt, Pardew is confident he will be available to partner Mike Williamson at the Stadium of Light.
“Steven was touch and go to be available (against Liverpool),” said the Magpies manager. “I cannot imagine that he won't be roaring on Monday morning, ready to play.
“I expect that even with one leg, Steven will tell me he is okay for the derby. I will make the final call on Thursday, but I'd expect he (Taylor) will get the nod over Paul because you need experience more than anything in the derby.”
Nevertheless, Dummett's second-half display at the weekend confirmed his readiness to slot into the back four when required.
Better known as a left-back, the 22-year-old partnered Williamson at centre-half as Newcastle contained Liverpool despite being reduced to ten men before the interval, and his day became even more special when he converted Yohan Cabaye's 57th-minute free-kick to claim his first senior goal.
“If Steven or Willo (Williamson) gets a knock, I'll turn to Paul with no problem,” said Pardew. “He showed against the toughest of opposition that he is more than capable.
“I would have no concerns about putting him in. I have even thought about sticking him in midfield as well where I think he can be a bit of a destroyer in certain games. There are a number of roles he can play.”
Born in Newcastle and raised in Gosforth, Dummett has risen through the academy ranks and captained the Magpies' development side on a number of occasions.
He spent three months with Gateshead at the end of the 2011-12 campaign, and enjoyed two separate loan spells with St Mirren last season, making 30 appearances for the Scottish Premier League side.
A Wales under-21 international because his father was born in the country, Dummett earned his first call up to the senior Wales squad for September's games against Macedonia and Serbia. However, as he is still to play a competitive match for Chris Coleman's side, his international future remains undecided.
At the start of the summer, there were suggestions he might leave Newcastle to rejoin St Mirren on a permanent basis, a scenario Pardew maintains was never on the cards.
“He was never going there permanently, never,” he said. “It was never part of our plans. We always got good reports back about him and we are not particularly well covered at left-back.
“Paul offered that in pre-season, and Davide (Santon) knew he was under massive pressure in pre-season because Paul was pushing him hard.
“Now, he has got his rewards and it's great for our academy because he has got in front of some seriously good players. We had a lucky break in that Mike Williamson didn't train on Friday, so Dummy worked beside Mapou so he was ready.”
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