Pardew’s Ben Arfa admission

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has admitted that Hatem Ben
Arfa is playing through the pain barrier in a bid to aid the club’s
survival bid.

Pardew took a gamble on Ben Arfa’s fitness by starting him in
last weekend’s goalless draw at West Ham.

Ben Arfa has been blighted with hamstring problems this season
which have restricted him to just 20 appearances in all
competitions.

Pardew is prepared to take a risk on Ben Arfa’s fitness as he
feels the Frenchman can make the difference in their battle to
avoid relegation.

“Ben Arfa has been struggling. This hamstring has a slight
weakness in there and it won’t even be strong I don’t think for
six, seven weeks,” noted Pardew.

“We got a great level of fitness out of him in terms of that
particular problem. He was terrific at West Ham, and he’s a match
winner.

“We’ve been bringing him on in the second half but started him
at the weekend and we missed him when we took him off. We missed
that little thrust.

“I think for Hatem another week’s work will get him closer. Goal
scoring is what wins games, we’ve got to improve that area for next
week, including with Hatem.”