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