North-East latest: Newcastle star set for lengthy absence, Sunderland loanee may play backup role

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We bring you the latest news from Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

Aarons out for six weeks

Newcastle United prospect Rolando Aarons is set to face a six-week absence from first-team football after picking up an injury.

Aarons has been one of the positives to come out of a disappointing start from the Magpies, but a hamstring injury is threatening to keep him out for a considerable amount of time in a blow for the side. 

Koeman backs Krul

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has backed Tim Krul to bounce back from his dreadful performance against the Saints at the weekend.

Krul was barely supported by his teammates in Newcastle's 4-0 defeat to the South-Coast side, but his performance did little to impress. 

However, his fellow Dutchman, Koeman, says that Krul will be able to respond positively the weekend's disappointment. 

“Tim is still a great goalkeeper," Koeman is quoted as saying by the Shields Gazette.

“It wasn’t special for me that it was 4-0 against him. Maybe it would have been more special if it had been against Manchester United."

“But I understand how difficult it is for Newcastle right now. It’s always important as you realise the situation for them. They lack a little bit of confidence.”

Sebastian Coates to offer competition

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet expects Sebastian Coates to provide competition for current centre-back pairing Wes Brown and John O'Shea. 

The defender was brought in from Liverpool over the summer, but is yet to make a first-team appearance and Poyet has revealed that he may have to play a back-up role this season. 

“Slowly, he’s going to have to start competing with Wes and John, and when he has the chance to play in any game – even in the cup – he needs to perform," Poyet explained to the Sheilds Gazette. 

“I think it’s a great chance for him as well, and a great challenge."

Poyet makes Wickham the main man

Gus Poyet is to make Connor Wickham Sunderland's main-man in the hope of encouraging him to stay at the club.

The striker has less than a year left on his contract and there are doubts emerging over his future, but Poyet hopes that by making him the figurehead of their attack it will convince him to stay on Wearside. 

"Connor played very well and deserves to play next week, for sure," Poyet said to the Chronicle.

Aitor Karanka hails Leadbitter

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has praised in-form Grant Leadbitter.

'Boro have made an encouraging start to the season, with Leadbitter the star in their success, and Karanka has moved to publicly praise his captain today. 

“He’s very important, but not just because of the goals,” the Spanish boss said to the club's official site. “I like him because he’s a strong character. He always wants to play, and he is good for the changing room."

“He will take responsibility to shoot a penalty to win the game in the final moment, and he’s very good for his team-mates."

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