Nicky Butt will complete his Newcastle rehabilitation tonight when he will be captain for the Uefa Cup clash with Zulte Waregem.
The 32-year-old midfielder appeared to be on his way out of St James' Park two seasons ago when he went out on loan to Birmingham after a poor first campaign on Tyneside.
However, he has rediscovered his best form under Glenn Roeder and, with Scott Parker having withdrawn from the squad for the trip to Belgium with a tight hamstring, the manager had no qualms about asking the 32-year-old to lead the team out at the Jules Otten Stadium.
Roeder said: "Nicky Butt will be captain. He has vast experience with Manchester United in Europe and he is having a wonderful season for us. He is a leader. He is out of the United school, that group of players the [Gary and Phil] Nevilles, [David] Beckham, [Paul] Scholes. Nicky will do a fine job for us. When I asked him, he was delighted."
Newcastle will be without Parker and United States defender Oguchi Onyewu, who is ineligible. Onyewu, on loan from Belgian side Standard Liege, who lost 3-1 to Zulte in the Juliper League at the weekend, has provided Roeder with useful information on their opponents, who are also struggling badly with injuries and suspension.
But Roeder dismissed coach Francky Dury's comment that he expects his side to bow out of their first European campaign against the Premiership side.Reuse content