Ben Arfa In Toon Squad

Last updated : 11 April 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor

Alan Pardew: "We were conservative in or approach when he re-injured his hamstring - when I say re-injured, he didn't really re-injure it, he wasn't confident about it.

"We just said, 'That's him done this season', and I think it was a good mindset for him to prove us wrong.

"He has come back with a different mindset, and his mindset is that it feels much stronger in the hamstring.

"The scans show that the hamstring, although not fully repaired - and with the type of injury he has had, it probably won't be for another seven or eight weeks - the confidence is in his head that it's done, that he's okay, and that is important.

"He could be an influential figure between now and the end of the year, and influential even tomorrow. He has shown good form in training for two or three days.

"He has looked much better, much stronger than when he came back before. There was definitely a doubt in his mind about the strength of the hamstring, and with hamstring injuries sometimes, it is how confident you feel.

"He definitely looks and feels ready this time."