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Adam to play through pain barrier


Charlie Adam aims to be fit for Stoke

Charlie Adam aims to be fit for Stoke

Charlie Adam aims to be fit for Stoke

Charlie Adam is hoping to play in Stoke's Barclays Premier League clash with Newcastle on Saturday despite needing an operation on a broken nose.

The midfielder suffered the injury in training but the club are hopeful he will be able to play wearing a mask.

Fellow midfielder Stephen Ireland has recovered from illness but Matthew Etherington (back) is expected to join winger Oussama Assaidi and centre-back Robert Huth (both knee) on the sidelines.

Last weekend's 3-0 loss to Chelsea brought to an end a run of five games unbeaten for Stoke.

No team outside the top five has a better home record than the Potters this season, and they will be looking for revenge after a contentious 5-1 loss to Newcastle on Boxing Day.

Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson were both sent off in the first half, while boss Mark Hughes was also sent to the stands.

The Welshman said: "Leading up to the point where we lost two of our guys to sendings-off, arguably we'd produced one of our best away performances.

"We were 1-0 to the good and totally in control of the game. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it was deemed a couple of challenges were worthy of red cards. We still dispute that.

"We were upset at the time and it actually knocked us back because we had a period after that game where we found it difficult to get points on the board.

"Thankfully it hasn't been too detrimental to us. We're in a good position, we're only six points behind Newcastle, so if we can get maximum points against them then we'll be on their shirt-tails."

Goalkeeper Tim Krul could return for Newcastle after missing the last two games with a knee injury. He is back in training and could replace under-study Rob Elliot at the Britannia Stadium.

Striker Loic Remy has also returned to training after his calf problem, but will not be risked at Stoke, while full-back Mathieu Debuchy (groin) and midfielder Moussa Sissoko (hamstring) are still out.

Under-fire boss Alan Pardew insists he will not be weakened by the tide of criticism heading in his direction.

The 52-year-old has found himself firmly in the firing line in the wake of a run of three heavy defeats by Everton, Southampton and Manchester United, the first and third of them at St James' Park, which have seen his side concede 11 goals without reply.

As a result, a club which was looking upwards towards the battle for Champions League qualification on Boxing Day, is now glancing anxiously over their shoulder and clinging on to a place in the top half of the Barclays Premier League, the minimum requirement set by owner Mike Ashley back in August.

Pardew has borne the brunt of the most recent criticism and has no qualms about having to do so.

He said: "I accept the criticism that's coming my way, of course, but that doesn't weaken me in any manner.

"I am a person who looks to the next game and looks forward. I am desperate to get the fans a result and they need to know that.

"I understand their feelings at the minute."