Pardew eyes derby redemption

Alan Pardew has set Newcastle the task of recovering derby pride

after tasting defeat by Sunderland for the first time.

The 51-year-old was stunned by Sunday’s capitulation at St

James’ Park as his run of four positive results against the Black

Cats came to a spectacular end.

However, he is urging his players to use a humbling 3-0 defeat

to fuel them for their final five games of the season, and then

into another battle for the title of the north-east’s top dogs.

Pardew told the Chronicle: “Next year, we have to prove that we

are a bigger and better club.

“That’s in terms of our Premier League position by finishing

well above them. That’s what we are going to try to do next

year.

“But first, we have got to make sure we play well in the last

five games with good, solid performances.”

Pardew’s hopes for revenge presuppose the continued presence of

the Tyne-Wear rivals in next season’s Barclays Premier League,

something which is currently far from certain.

Despite Sunday’s famous victory, Sunderland remain only three

points clear of the drop zone with Newcastle just two points better

off, and both still have a significant amount of work to do.

The Magpies head for West Brom on Saturday, where a repeat of

last season’s 3-1 victory would be more than welcome in the

circumstances.

However, the Baggies, who have taken just a single point from

their last three games, will be keen to address that situation in

front of their own fans.

Pardew will at least have a week to work with his players having

seen many of them head off on international duty last month, and

then have to balance the demands of their Europa League

quarter-final double-header against Benfica with league games

against Manchester City, Fulham and Sunderland.

That could prove particularly important for men such as Mathieu

Debuchy, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa, who have missed out in

recent weeks through injury.

Indeed Ben Arfa’s appearance as a substitute at the weekend was

his second inside four days after just one in four months.

In addition, Pardew will hope to be able to bring a new energy

to the legs of Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse, whose

weariness has become increasingly apparent.

Pardew said: “We certainly can do a week’s work with Hatem and

Debuchy, who had his first game, and Cheick. We will do more work

with him.

“We will give a rest to some of the other guys.”