Newcastle's Xisco kid gets rare chance to shine in Bruges after recall to Pardew's squad
23:26 GMT, 7 November 2012
Newcastle outcast Xisco could be given the chance to revive his career in Belgium after he was recalled to Alan Pardew’s Europa League squad.
The 5.7million striker, who was a Dennis Wise/Kevin Keegan signing, has
travelled to Bruges.
Although likely to be among the substitutes, as Pardew turns to Ameobi
brothers Shola and Sammy to start the Group D clash, Pardew has recalled
the former Spain Under 21 striker after he impressed for the club's
reserves in the last month.
Second chance Xisco (right) could be set for a return to action
Xisco has been on loan at former club Deportivo La Coruna and Santander
in the last two season and last played for Newcastle in August 2010
against Aston Villa. In fact he has played just three league games since
his 5.7million move from Deportivo and scoring in his debut against
Pardew said: 'He has worked hard, we feel he has contributed to the group and therefore we have included him on this trip.
'The future for Xisco, hopefully, is a return to playing. Like all
players, he wants to play and he has not really done anything wrong
other than not reach the level of the first team since he has been here.
'We have tried to give him some direction and some hope that he can
forward his career. I don't know how much pain he has gone though, if I
am honest, I have not really sat down and spoken to him about that.
'My purpose at this football club is to try to get the best out of every
individual, and I am trying to do that with him. I am not sure if he
will be included tomorrow, if I am honest, but I wanted to bring him
into the group just so he felt part of it.
'He causes us no problems, he is well-liked within the group, he gets on
with his work and we are trying to help him.' Pardew has decided to
leave Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez in Newcastle to rest, while top
scorer Demba Ba nurses a sore shin. Yohan Cabaye, who came off with a
tight thigh at Anfield on Sunday, has travelled and the Ameobi brothers
will start up front together for the first time.
More than 2,500 Newcastle fans are
expected in the Jan Breydel Stadium, but around double that number could
travel to the Belgian city without tickets.
After warnings last month that
ticketless fans will be arrested near the ground, local police have
relented and are hoping bars and the city squares will provide enough
screens to watch the game.
Pardew added: 'We know what our fans
are like. When we take anything over 600, they start sounding like a
whole stadium, so I am sure we will have very vocal support tomorrow.
'Tickets are at a premium – we can't
get tickets for everyone we want. It's brilliant that they have come and
followed us. We are absolutely delighted.
'I hope they conduct themselves in
and around the city in the right manner – that's important too because
we have got fantastic supporters.'