MX23RW : Friday, February 26 09:24:13| >> :120:56334:56334:

John Carver: 'Jonas Gutierrez in Newcastle United side on merit'

Newcastle United manager John Carver says that bringing Jonas Gutierrez on for the final 25 minutes against Manchester United was purely a "footballing decision".

Newcastle United boss John Carver has hinted that he may hand fan favourite Jonas Gutierrez a first full start in more than 18 months in his side's next Premier League outing.

The 31-year-old made a welcome return to the field in last night's 1-0 defeat against Manchester United following his battle with testicular cancer, replacing Ryan Taylor at left-back for the final 25 minutes.

Gutierrez has spent most of his Toon career in midfield, but having seen the boost he gave supporters when introduced at St James' Park, Carver has suggested that he could select the South American in defence, with Massadio Haidara and Taylor both fitness concerns for the trip to face Everton.

"Putting Jonas on was a footballing decision not a sentimental decision," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Star. "I was a bit concerned about Ryan because he has not played at this level for a long time and was blowing so I asked Jonas if he could play there because he has done that on a number of occasions and he said 'absolutely'.

"Maybe I should have started with him because all of a sudden the crowd came alive. It just shows what the fans think of him because the roof nearly came off the stadium."

Speaking after yesterday evening's clash, Gutierrez described the reception he received from supporters as one he will never forget.


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Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on February 28, 2015
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