sport

Haidara relieved to be back

Newcastle United defender Massadio Haidara was happy to make his first appearance in the Premier League since April in the midweek defeat to Swansea.

Haidara came off the bench in the 3-0 defeat at the Liberty Stadium after a difficult time with a number of injuries.

The Frenchman suffered a knee injury last March following Wigan's Callum McManaman's infamous tackle on him which went unpunished.

Haidara recovered from the McManaman challenge to figure in three games at the end of last term, but his progress has been hampered by a knee injury this year.

The Frenchman admits he was relieved to be back playing and he is determined to keep his place in Alan Pardew's plans.

"Yes, I am relieved because it has been a very long time," he said. "I have not played in the Premier League since last April.

"It was a big pleasure to play again because it has been so long.

"Now I don't know the view of the coach about how I played or if I will play again, but I want to be involved and to give the team the maximum that I can."

Pardew is happy to have Haidara available again so that he can provide competition for left-back Davide Santon.

"He's been out a long time with injuries and he's been unlucky since he's been here," noted Pardew. "He has a natural left foot and we think he has a big future with us. I thought he just might give us a bit of energy.

"It was good for him, and good for us that he got that period of the match."