All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Newcastle had a weekend off as the FA Cup took priority, and it came as a blessing in disguise as manager Alan Pardew managed to escape the spotlight - for a brief time at least. The Magpies boss will learn his fate at an FA hearing tomorrow having been seen headbutting Hull City midfielder David Meyler during Newcastle's win at the KC Stadium last weekend. Pardew has already been fined £100,000 over the incident, but is also expected to be handed a stadium ban that will prevent him from attending any matches - much like Blackpool boss Paul Ince was handed earlier this season.
There has been more off-the-field news emanating from the North East, as midfielder Dan Gosling has admitted to an FA charge in relation to betting. It's believed that the former Everton midfielder may have gambled on a game that he has taken part in this season, which is against league rules. An FA spokesman said; "Gosling has requested a personal hearing, the date of which will be set in due course," with yet more non-footballing issues surrounding the club.
But there has been some good news that will affect performances on the pitch, as captain Fabrizio Coloccini will return to the line-up this weekend as Newcastle travel to West London to take on Fulham at Craven Cottage. The Argentine centre back missed the last game at Hull with a family bereavement but will now return to the team as preparations to face Felix Magath's team begin.
Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa stood in for Coloccini at Hull and performed admirably throughout, which will give Pardew a tough decision to make ahead of this weekend's match. Coloccini has had another great season at St. James' Park but would it be wise to break up a partnership that performed so well in the last match? It seems Coloccini will come straight back in to the side, which will be harsh on either Williamson or Yanga-Mbiwa.
image: © mikebrown59