Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brunton body blow

Our first pre-season friendly may have ended up in a comfortable 3-0 win over Carlisle at Brunton Park, but it wasn't without unfortunate incident.

With the game goalless at half-time, Chris Hughton sent out an entirely different XI after the break and Leon Best took just two minutes to break his Magpies duck. Nile Ranger and Haris Vuckic both also went on to beat the Cumbrians' former Toon 'keeper Adam Collin.

But there was to be a late kick in the crown jewels, as Steven Taylor's injury comeback was curtailed ten minutes before the final whistle courtesy of another shoulder injury. With Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson striking up a promising partnership towards the end of last season, there was no guarantee that Taylor would start at Old Trafford in any case - but it may be that he's not even able to take up a place on the bench.

Meanwhile, Hughton has denied public claims made by Burnley boss Brian Laws that Fraser Forster is to join the Clarets on loan: "Fraser hasn't gone to Burnley and they haven't reached an agreement with us. We're conscious of the fact Burnley want him and there has been communication, but we haven't made a decision on whether he will go there".

Forster, who didn't appear during Saturday's game, is also wanted by Burnley's Championship rivals Norwich, and according to Hughton we're doing a Fergie and insisting that any loanees start out as first choice: "It's important he goes somewhere where he is playing football matches and I think that is the same with anyone we let go out on loan this season. We want them to be put in a starting position when they go there. If it doesn't work out and they lose their place, that's different".


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