Belfast Telegraph

Blues quartet return

John Terry, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas are expected to return for Chelsea's Barclays Premier League clash with Newcastle on Saturday.

The trio were rested from the squad that defeated Watford in the FA Cup on Sunday but will face the Magpies at Stamford Bridge.

Thibaut Courtois is also likely to return in goal after Petr Cech was given an outing against Watford.

Assistant-manager Steve Holland spoke to the media after boss Jose Mourinho pulled out in response to be being charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

Mourinho faces possible disciplinary action for the comments made about match officials after last month's 1-1 draw with Southampton, in which he spoke of a "clear campaign" against Chelsea.

The Portuguese claimed the campaign is being orchestrated by "people, pundits, commentators and coaches from other teams" and labelled the booking of Cesc Fabregas for diving at St Mary's on December 28 a "scandal".

Holland insists Mourinho has not been affected by the possibility of facing disciplinary action and insists he has the full support of the club.

"Jose has been fine, very focused on the game against Newcastle, as we all are," Holland said.

"There is a frustration with all of us, it's not just Jose but the coaching staff and players, at the accumulation of events that surfaced at the Southampton game with the decisions over Cesc. And to compound that he received a booking.

"The scrutiny managers are under these days... I spoke to another manager the other day about a different matter and he said he couldn't remember there being such an intensive period of games as this season.

"That's a view I'd share. The amount of games has been relentless and there has been a small period of time between the games.

"At Chelsea every match is high profile with many live on TV. It's human nature that at times the leader has those moments. Jose's had the right influence on the players and is a highly-experienced manager."

Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul is set to return.

The Dutchman has been out injured since November but came through a behind-closed-doors friendly against Celtic on Thursday and is set to replace Jak Alnwick in caretaker-boss John Carver's line-up.

Carver's caretaker reign did not get off to the best of starts when he dropped big names including Moussa Sissoko, Daryl Janmaat and Fabricio Coloccini for last week's FA Cup defeat at Leicester.

The weakened line-up provoked a furious response from Magpies fans but Carver insisted he had no choice but to make seven changes to his squad due to a series of niggling injuries.

Carver is adamant he still has time to make his case and that wrapping up a famous league double over Mourinho's men could sway United managing director Lee Charnley.

Carver added: "That's the unfortunate thing about being caretaker-manager - you are on interview all the time.

"It's a bit unfortunate because normally a new manager is given time to put his ways across.

"I know the pitfalls and what comes with it. It hasn't been a great few days. But I love it. I still want to do it and I have the drive and enthusiasm to do it."

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