Harper: Toon missing absentees

BY foxsports • April 11, 2011

Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote and Shola Ameobi, who will have a knee scan on Monday, were all absent for the 1-0 Premier League defeat by Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday. Harper said: "When you take three massive players out of the heart of your team, it is going to be to the detriment of the team. "To be without Kevin Nolan and Cheick Tiote was massive for us - but losing Shola overnight was one too many. "Suspensions and injuries are killing us. We knew we had a small squad and that's why last week (against Wolves) was a massive result." The Magpies entertain Manchester United next Tuesday and Harper is hoping their demanding schedule before that game will take its' toll. He said: "We've got to hope the two big games, the Champions League game and the FA Cup semi-final, take a lot out of them this week because they are flying in the league. "It will be a very tough game for us but hopefully they will have two tough games this week and we will have 52,000 roaring us on and a few first choice bodies back out there."

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