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By ESPN Staff

Pardew waiting on Best fitness

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is keeping his fingers crossed that striker Leon Best will be fit for Saturday's crucial Premier League clash with Wolves.

Best was last weekend sent home from international duty with the Republic of Ireland after failing to shake off an ankle problem, but his club manager is hopeful that he will be able to resume at the weekend.

Best missed the 4-0 defeat at Stoke last time out because of the problem, although still managed to find his way into the headlines with an unscheduled appearance at a city nightclub.

But Pardew is hoping to have a man who has scored six goals in his last nine league appearances available once again as Mick McCarthy's men arrive at St James' Park hoping to drag themselves clear of the relegation zone.

He told the Journal: "We think Leon will be okay for the weekend. He's had an injection and it's just a case of letting it settle down. I think the international games were a bit too soon, but we are fairly confident he will fine for Wolves. It's an important game for us.

"We missed him at Stoke, you could see that in our attacking play at times. We had periods where we put them under pressure and looked the better side - even if the final scoreline does not reflect that - but we didn't really trouble their goalkeeper enough.

"Leon has been getting the goals for us recently and he's been an important player. He gives us something in and around the area that perhaps we didn't have at Stoke. He has responded well to the challenge he's been given.''

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