Alan Pardew is backing full-back Jose Enrique to play himself into the all-conquering Spain squad if he continues to excel for Newcastle.

The 25-year-old turned in the latest in a series of fine individual displays for the Magpies at Blackburn on Saturday, combining rugged defence with genuine enterprise.

Pardew believes Enrique can force himself into international consideration, saying: "It's a tough squad and an outstanding team, but he is showing the sort of form that could get him into that squad, no problem."

He added: "There aren't too many who can hold a candle to him at the moment, the form he is in.

"If you were the opposition, you would have to start worrying about him defensively because he keeps coming at you.

"Let alone the other assets we have in the team offensively, you have to look after our left-back because he will raid and raid all day. He has been terrific for us."


 

Pardew said: "I don't think his first season was particularly great, but he has come on in leaps and bounds.

"He is one of the first names on my team-sheet and one of the best left-backs I have ever worked with.

"It's a pleasure to work with him, he is a lovely guy."

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