Pardew keen to keep big guns

Pardew has spent much of this month hoping against hope that the

kind of call his club received on this day 12 months ago, when Andy

Carroll made a sensational £35million move to Liverpool, did

not materialise again.

Goalkeeper Tim Krul, skipper Fabricio Coloccini, midfielder

Cheick Tiote and striker Demba Ba have all found themselves the

subject of speculation of moves away from Tyneside.

However, as he conducted his pre-match press conference ahead of

Wednesday night’s Premier League trip to Blackburn with around 10

hours of the window still to run, he was keeping his fingers

crossed.

Asked if Newcastle’s resolve had yet been tested, Pardew said:

“Not really, no, if I am honest.

“We have had a few enquiries, but not of our big key players,

some of the lesser players who are trying to find some experience,

and one or two of those might go out – [James] Tavernier, for

example.

“Alan Smith has obviously gone and we wish him well because he

is a fantastic professional. I hope he does really well for MK

Dons. He’s a big signing for them.

“But the big players, no, we have been pretty quiet.”

Pardew has warned all month that the call he dreads could arrive

in the final few hours before Tuesday night’s 11pm deadline, but

was hoping for a quiet evening.

He said with a smile: “Any number I don’t recognise, I am not

taking the call today, 100% – and if it’s a couple of very senior

managers, I might ignore them as well.

“We have still got a few hours to go yet, but I am just going to

try to keep my phone on silent.”