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.”