CHN Links: Wednesday Edition

SUNDERLAND ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Newcastle player Alan Smith lies injured during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Newcastle United at Stadium of Light on January 16 2011 in Sunderland England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Good morning, Toon Army.  Today is pretty slow, even for a Wednesday, likely because much of the local press is busy with the Darren Bent story.  John Carver jumps right into his new job and we wait with baited breath for updates on Wor Alan Smith's ankle.

News & HSOs

Just hours after his signing was announced, new/old assistant John Carver was out on the training pitch doing work.  The NUFC Official Site has a flickr feed of photos available to view.  Lee Ryder is a huge fan of the move, calling it potentially "the shrewdest of coups."

Reserve team manager Peter Beardsley spoke on his team's recent win, praising both hat-trick "hero" Nile Ranger (Lee Ryder, The Chronicle) and the rehabbing Dan Gosling. (Lee Ryder, The Chronicle)

Alan Smith will see a specialist about his injured ankle today. (BBC Sport)

Transfer Rumors

The Daily Mail briefly notes that Newcastle are interested in 26 year-old defender Ashley Williams of Swansea, who has been linked to the club in previous transfer windows.  This one doesn't exactly pass the smell test, as Pardew has specifically stated that he needs a defender who can play on the left side.  Still, the previous link makes it worth mentioning.

Shaun Wright-Phillips appears to be making headway with Fulham. (Daniel Taylor, The Guardian) Bolton manager Owen Coyle has publicly backed off of the winger. (Ben Collins, Sky Sports) No word on whether or not Alan Pardew has stepped up his game in this department.

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