Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley used the £35 million sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool to fund new deals for Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul.

The news of the double contract coup was ­deliberately released to ­impact on today's High Noon ­showdown between the Magpies and Sunderland at St James' Park.

Toon boss Alan Pardew said: "Andy going was a low that left me ­depressed. But this is the opposite extreme. It's lifted me and shows we are heading in the right direction.

"It shows the intent of Mike Ashley to keep the core of this team together.

"That's the bedrock of any successful side."