Pardew tells Newcastle fans to forgive Cabaye
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hopes supporters can forgive and forget as unsettled French midfielder Yohan Cabaye prepares to make his return against Fulham on Saturday.
Cabaye is set to end his controversial 'strike' by facing Fulham, in a major U-turn after downing tools in a bid to push through a move to Arsenal, even though the Gunners haven't been back since an initial �10 million offer, immediately dismissed as 'derisory' by the North-East club.
With time running out to resurrect a deal before Monday's deadline, Pardew expects the unsettled 27-year-old to be part of his plans for the Premier League clash, where the former Lille playmaker, left out of the France squad as a consequence of his individual industrial action, could be seen in competitive action for the first time since May.
"I expect Cabaye to play and I think he will be involved if Arsenal don't come back in for him," Pardew said.
"He's fit, there's no problem with that and he's been working with the first team for the past few days."
Cabaye has crossed a line with his actions for many fans, and for that he will receive a frosty reception from a significant number of supporters when he pulls on a black and white shirt again.
However, Pardew hopes the majority of St James' Park regulars can see fit to move on, urging them take into account the 'external pressure' on his prize asset as his side go in search of their first league win of the season.
Pardew will fine Cabaye for his no-shows so far, but their working relationship remains intact, and he added: "I think it'll be a positive reaction from the fans to see him back. The point I'm trying to make is that it's not just Yohan who is involved in this situation.
"Others are involved as well, like his agents. I've said from day one that when you get situations like this, you need to keep professional."
Pardew stopped short of backing calls from supporters for a full apology from Cabaye, who is likely to be among the substitutes alongside compatriot Loic Remy, the summer arrival from QPR who is making good progress after missing pre-season with a calf injury.
"Cabaye is something that everyone has an opinion on," Pardew said. "There's some sympathy from myself towards Yohan for the pressure that he's under from other sources, but I also have a disagreement on some of the things he's done.
"The bottom line is that he's a great player, and our fans love great players. That's what he gives us and that's why he's so important to us."
Newcastle host a Fulham side that has added experience to its squad during the transfer window, with former Newcastle midfielder Scott Parker arriving from Tottenham and Darren Bent making a loan switch from Aston Villa.
Bent scored after appearing as a substitute on his debut in last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Arsenal, and after seeing the striker complete the full 120 minutes in the midweek extra time League Cup victory over Burton, Cottagers boss Martin Jol is ready to start the England international alongside Dimitar Berbatov for the first time.
"He looked fit, so he will be in the squad," Jol said. "He was eager to play and he was eager to start.
"He joined us in every training session and looked fit so I think he looks good, he looks good to start and it's about the decision to make on the team.
"He scored the goal against Arsenal - he's always scoring goals - I'm happy he's here but we have to wait and see.
"Berbatov of course is in again, we rested him for the game against Burton, so we are pretty positive."