Global reach key for McCoist

BY foxsports • January 10, 2013

Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye will be in the squad for Saturday's match at Norwich and may make his return from injury off the bench.

Alan Pardew's side have been beset by injuries in recent weeks but the outlook is improving significantly and the manager says several other key men will also be back at the weekend.

Cabaye has been on the sidelines since November after having groin surgery but he has returned to full training this week and could play some part at Carrow Road.

"The good news is we are taking Cabaye on the bus, which is like signing a new player," said Pardew.

"I don't think he's really ready to start, if I'm honest. I think his role will be off the bench, if the situation evolves where we need him.

"Yohan is a great player and has lifted everybody this week, just in terms of picking passes out in training.

"It's just nice to have some senior players out there working hard and just his inclusion is going to give everyone a huge lift."

The Magpies were short of numbers for Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup loss at Brighton but forward Papiss Cisse, defender Fabricio Coloccini and winger Jonas Gutierrez are now back in contention, as well as Cabaye.

"Papiss and Colo are both fit as well, so they will be in and around the team, and we certainly look a lot stronger than the unfortunate situation we were in last week," said Pardew.

"Steven Taylor will be ready for Reading (on 19 January) and Cabaye will certainly be ready for Reading. Jonas is fit and he will be available for Norwich, so we are getting some senior bodies back at a crucial time."

The Gunners host Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday to start a run of six potential crunch fixtures before the end of January - with a Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich also looming on the not-too-distant horizon.

After an FA Cup replay against Swansea at Emirates Stadium next Wednesday, Arsenal then travel to Chelsea on January 20, before tackling West Ham in their rearranged Boxing Day fixture, which is followed by a possible FA Cup fourth-round tie at Brighton ahead of the visit of Liverpool.

Wales international Ramsey, however, insists the squad have the strength of character to cope with such a demanding schedule.

"It is a big month for us. We play some teams who are above us [in the Premier League] and we have an FA Cup game as well, so it is important to take these opportunities," Ramsey said on Arsenal Player.

"We have Manchester City at home and Chelsea away, games that we did well in last season, so hopefully we can do the same again this year and that will set us up nicely for the run in to the end of the season."

Arsenal have some decent form against City in recent encounters, beating the big-spending Blues 1-0 at Emirates Stadium in April and battling to a 1-1 draw away earlier this season.

Ramsey feels the Gunners can use those results as a positive for this weekend's showdown, where victory would keep them within striking distance of the top four.

"It will give us an extra bit of belief," he added.

"We beat them last year at home and with Yaya Toure gone to the Africa Cup of Nations, it is a big loss for them.

"He is a big player for them and so influential, so hopefully we can take full advantage of that and get another good result."

Arsenal have also seen their options hit by the African Nations Cup, as forward Gervinho is away with the Ivory Coast.

However, Arsene Wenger could see his midfield options boosted by the return of Abou Diaby.

The injury-plagued France international played for the Under-21s in their midweek draw against West Brom in what was a first competitive fixture since hobbling out against Chelsea on September 29 with a thigh problem.

Arsenal Under-21s coach Terry Burton said: "Diaby was arguably the pick of the senior players that came in.

"He came into the game and started to develop his all-round game, got on the ball and controlled the game.

"He can slow the tempo down or speed it up.

"Hopefully he has come through the game well."

Full-back Andre Santos also made his comeback from a stomach muscle injury, scoring the equaliser in a game which saw midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, who had just returned from a loan spell at Charlton, shown a red card after collecting two late bookings and must now serve a suspension.

Arsenal, meanwhile, remain hopeful of pushing through an improved contract offer for Theo Walcott, with reports suggesting a new five-year deal worth around ?90,000 could even be signed ahead of the City game.

The Light Blues were voted into the Irn-Bru Third Division in the summer after being consigned to liquidation and losing their status as a Clydesdale Bank Premier League club.

The story has attracted interest from around the world, with a number of foreign reporters present at media conferences and matches this season as Rangers begin their journey back to the top of the Scottish game.

And McCoist hopes such widespread exposure can boost his chances of selling the club to potential signing targets.

A transfer embargo means Rangers must wait until September 1 before they can register free agents - and January 2014 before buying players - but can negotiate pre-contract agreements this month.

McCoist told the club's website: "We've got a massive list of players from all over the world which we are looking over at the moment.

"We're keeping on top of the SPL players because we'd be crazy not to but we're looking far outwith that as well.

"We're doing our groundwork early and we've got to do that. We can't register players until September but we've got to continue to scout."

He added: "We've had camera crews and journalists here from all over the world and what is happening here has very much become a global story.

"I don't think that has done us any harm in the respect of trying to get players in here because we are very much at the forefront of people's news and views.

"It's up to us to utilise that. That has shown with one or two agents we are just touching base with to keep in touch with their players and there has certainly been a keenness from them to come here."

Meanwhile, chief executive Charles Green has reiterated his determination to pursue former players he believes were in breach of contract when they refused to transfer to his newco in the summer.

Rangers are seeking compensation after Allan McGregor, Kyle Lafferty, Jamie Ness, Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker and Sone Aluko quit Ibrox for moves to Besiktas, Sion, Stoke City, Everton, Norwich City and Hull City respectively.

A meeting took place on Monday at Hampden to discuss jurisdiction on the case and Green says he was encouraged by the talks.

He told RangersTV: "From our side it went as well as we could have expected. From the other side I'm sure they will be disappointed.

"Clearly they wanted the commission to throw it out and rule that the SFA had no jurisdiction because the whole process of the first meeting was about jurisdiction.

"It is still my position that these players breached their contracts and we are going to pursue them.

"Both parties were asked to go away and discuss various issues. We have been given until January 21 by the chair of the commission to come back to him.

"In the absence that the parties can't agree or cannot come up with a view, he will make a judgement.

"Hopefully, through the lawyers, we can come up with an agreement on these issues and, at that point, the commission can start taking the thing forward.

"We are quite a way off from the position we want to achieve in terms of gaining compensation. We are not going to let this drop as I have said since June."

Rangers settled with Southampton, Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday over Steve Davis, John Fleck and Rhys McCabe respectively.


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