Gym Work Has Tuned Up Toon Midfielder

Last updated : 13 December 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor

... Vurnon Anita is turning into a right little animal.

France international Yohan Cabaye collected a red car at Old Trafford that means he will be missing as Newcastle attempt to extend their run of three home victories against Southampton on Saturday.

Cabaye's absence could mean a pivotal role for Dutchman Vurnon Anita, who was drafted into the side for the United game and did not let his manager down.

The 24-year-old former Ajax midfielder has had to remain patient since his £6.7million switch to St James' in August 2012, but Pardew has kept a close eye on his development and is confident he can do a job for him.

Alan Pardew: "It's been good for him because he has made himself stronger in the gym and he's had a little bit more time to reflect on some performances last year, where I think he struggled a little bit.

"This year, you have to pay tribute to him because he has been a lot, lot better and he is pushing for a place.

"I would expect him to get 20, 25 appearances this year and for a second year at a big club, that's a good start.

"I don't think there's any questionable doubt that he will start."