Titus touch and go for Villa

Last updated : 05 December 2002 By Martyn Elliott

After a shaky start Bramble had shown signs of becoming an accomplished performer (particularly against Juventus at St James’ Park) and the defence has certainly missed him since he was injured against Dinamo Kyiv.

But Titus is back and keen to face Villa and of course Barcelona.

"My hamstring is okay now, but after being out for so long my general fitness was lacking a bit," the England Under-21 star said.

"I've been in full training all week now and I've been doing double sessions with our fitness coach, Paul Winspur, in an effort to be fit in time for the Aston Villa game. At the moment it is touch and go, but I'm desperate to play. The thought of playing against Barcelona has kept me going.

"I hate being injured and not playing. I want to get back to playing regularly, although it would be out of order for me to simply assume I'll get straight back into the side.

"If I play against Villa I'll have a good chance of being involved against Barcelona and that would be a dream. But it is not up to me to say if I'll start the game.

"It has been a frustrating time for me.

"It was an annoying time to pick up an injury as I've been forced to miss so many big games for Newcastle.

"To not be a part of some of the fantastic games Newcastle have had, especially the win against Feyenoord, has been hard to take.

"But the thought of playing against Barcelona has kept me going recently and hopefully I'll be ready at the weekend."

It’ll be good to see Titus back, preferably alongside Aaron Hughes or Steve Caldwell.

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