Norwich keeps Newcastle in danger
Newcastle United remain just two points above the Premier League relegation zone after being held to a 0-0 draw in an uneventful game at mid-table Norwich City on Saturday.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton, up against the club that sacked him in Decemver 2010, saw his side muster only two efforts at goal, with Russell Martin clipping the woodwork and Grant Holt failing to score from a late header.
Newcastle at least brought an end to a run of four consecutive defeats in all competitions, but they enjoyed even less success in attacking areas, with Mark Bunn largely untroubled in the home goal.
Magpies manager Alan Pardew reportedly received a transfer request from key centre-back Fabricio Coloccini this week, but the Argentine produced a strong performance at Carrow Road.
The same could not be said of Newcastle debutant Mathieu Debuchy, in the first 10 minutes at least, as Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan gave the France international plenty to think about on the Norwich left.
However, with Holt starting on the bench, the hosts lacked a physical presence and Debuchy's early struggles did not prove costly.
Bunn only had one save to make in the first half, parrying a smart shot from Gabriel Obertan after the Frenchman was teed up by Vurnon Anita.
Norwich played with more purpose after the change of ends but Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul still had little to do.
Hughton introduced Holt from the bench and almost saw his side break the tedium through right-back Martin, whose fine volley flicked off the post.
Krul then had to save from Anthony Pilkington, with Bradley Johnson putting the rebound well over.
Newcastle mounted a rare attack with 10 minutes to play, but it culminated with Coloccini volleying wide.
Holt could have won it at the death, but he could only put his header over the bar.