Anita happy to continue at right back
Vurnon Anita is ready to continue as Newcastle’s emergency right-back as manager Alan Pardew attempts to deal with a developing injury crisis.
The 23-year-old Holland midfielder was asked to drop into the Magpies’ defence after Danny Simpson limped off during the first half of the club’s 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Aston Villa on September 2.
With Ryan Taylor facing months on the sidelines with knee ligament damage and James Perch having missed the Villa game with a neck problem, Pardew’s options are limited to say the least.
However, Anita, a £6.7million summer signing from Ajax, did a job for him against the midlanders and is prepared to do it again if he is called upon.
He told the club’s official website, www.nufc.co.uk: “We have got two injuries on that side, so if the manager needs me on that side, I will do my best for the team.
“It went well against Aston Villa. As a right-back you can come forward a lot, so I did that also and yes, I think it was a good performance.
“Central midfield is my position, so the main focus is on the midfield, but if the manager needs me on the right side, I can also play there.”
Newcastle return to action after the break for international matches on Monday evening, when they face a difficult trip to Everton.
The Toffees lost 2-0 at West Brom in their last outing, a result which came as something of a surprise after their blistering start to the season.
Anita is expecting a difficult evening on Merseyside, particularly as he knows two of the men who helped to secure an opening day victory over Manchester United very well.
He said: “I saw the highlights and they were very aggressive. They played very well, so we must be prepared.
“I know two players who play there. I played with Steven Pienaar at Ajax – he was there when I made my debut – and Johnny Heitinga, also from Ajax and the national team.
“They are very good players, so I know they have a good team and a very strong team.
“It’s a good opponent to play against and we are playing away, so we must be prepared.”
Pardew also has concerns over goalkeeper Tim Krul and skipper Fabricio Coloccini, who have picked up injuries while away on international duty.
Anita’s compatriot Krul returned early from the Holland camp after damaging an elbow, while the Magpies’ medics are awaiting Coloccini’s return from Argentina to assess his hamstring problem.
Veteran Steve Harper is standing by to replace Krul, while Mike Williamson is likely to deputise for Coloccini if he does not make Monday’s game.