Pardew hopeful over hitman Leon

The 24-year-old was last weekend sent home from international duty

with the Republic of Ireland after failing to shake off an ankle

problem, but his club manager is hopeful that he will be able to

resume at the weekend. Best missed the 4-0 defeat at Stoke last

time out because of the problem, although still managed to find his

way into the headlines with an unscheduled appearance at a city

nightclub. But Pardew is hoping to have a man who has scored six

goals in his last nine league appearances available once again as

Mick McCarthy’s men arrive at St James’ Park hoping to drag

themselves clear of the relegation zone. He told the Journal: “We

think Leon will be okay for the weekend. He’s had an injection and

it’s just a case of letting it settle down. “I think the

international games were a bit too soon, but we are fairly

confident he will fine for Wolves. It’s an important game for us.

“We missed him at Stoke, you could see that in our attacking play

at times. We had periods where we put them under pressure and

looked the better side – even if the final scoreline does not

reflect that – but we didn’t really trouble their goalkeeper

enough. “Leon has been getting the goals for us recently and he’s

been an important player. “He gives us something in and around the

area that perhaps we didn’t have at Stoke. “He has responded well

to the challenge he’s been given.” Best’s injury meant he missed

the Republic’s 2-1 Euro 2012 qualifier victory over Macedonia on

Saturday evening, a game in which Wolves frontman Kevin Doyle

suffered medial ligament damage which could sideline him for some

time.