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Key West Ham duo in fitness race for Newcastle clash

PUBLISHED: 16:25 10 November 2012

James Tomkins. Photo: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO

James Tomkins. Photo: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO

Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

West Ham defenders James Tomkins and James Collins are facing late fitness tests for Sunday’s clash at Newcastle, manager Sam Allardyce has revealed.

Tomkins missed the Hammers’ 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Saturday due to a groin problem, while Collins was substituted late on with an injury scare.

The pair are racing to be fit for their trip to Newcastle and Allardyce admits their absence would leave his side very light at the back.

He said: “Our team news is to wait patiently for James Tomkins and James Collins.

“I think that those are the two key players for this weekend.

“We need to hope that at least one of them passes a fitness test and that will probably happen tomorrow.

“That would leave us with Winston Reid as the only central defender we have.”

There was better news for full back Guy Demel, who will rejoin the squad after recovering from a hernia operation.

Allardyce continued: “Guy Demel is back in training this week will join the squad.

“Other than that we’re not too bad.”

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