Hughton backs defensive duo
Magpies boss has faith in stand-in defensive duo
By Elliot Ball. Last Updated: November 24, 2010 3:52pm
Campbell: Starting against Chelsea
Chris Hughton insists Newcastle's untried centre-back pairing of Sol Campbell and Steven Taylor will be ready for the visit of Chelsea.
The Magpies will be forced to field the duo together when the reigning Premier League and FA Cup winners come to St James' Park on Saturday after learning Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini are both suspended.
Newcastle were in London on Wednesday as Williamson was given a three-match ban for violent conduct in last weekend's 5-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
And the defender will join Coloccini on the sidelines after the Argentina international saw red in the same match, meaning Campbell and Taylor are set to form the defensive bedrock for the Tyneside club.
"What we have is both Sol and Steven available for Chelsea," Hughton, who is confident the duo will be able to cope with Didier Drogba and Co. this weekend, told the Chronicle.
"They've both started games, albeit at reserve level. That's where we are with them."
While neither player has started for Newcastle in the league this season, both defenders have a wealth of top-flight experience.
Campbell - who was on the winning side the last time he faced Chelsea - has made two substitute appearances for the Magpies this year and Taylor - who is currently transfer listed due to failed contract negotiations - has only recently recovered from injury.