Pardew keen to learn from Spurs

Tottenham will arrive at St James’ Park to provide Pardew’s

new-look Magpies with the sternest test to date of their

credentials with both sides flying high in the Premier League

table. Newcastle are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions to

date, and their return of four wins and three draws in their seven

league games has helped them to amass 15 points to sit proudly in

fourth place. Indeed, they are currently two positions and three

points better off than tomorrow’s visitors, although they know they

will have to be at their best to either maintain or extend that

advantage this weekend. Spurs have been transformed in the three

years since manager Harry Redknapp arrived at White Hart Lane, and

they are now reaping the kind of rewards for their investment in

young, talented players which Pardew hopes eventually to achieve as

his masterplan unfolds. He said: “That’s fair to say. That’s

something that’s been in process there, not just under Harry,

probably you would have to say before that. “They have bought some

very good young players and they have taken their time to build and

are in a fine financial position. “That’s what we are trying to do,

but we are much earlier down the line than they are now. “The start

of their process was probably about five years ago.” Newcastle’s

opening fixtures having been testing, but not overly so, and they

face a more stringent examination of their readiness to lock horns

with the big boys in coming weeks. They face top three Manchester

City, Manchester United and Chelsea in the space of a fortnight as

November turns to December, although Pardew is confident he already

knows the capabilities of his team. He said: “I think we have

proved we are going to be competitive, it’s just at what level we

are going to be competitive. “That’s still to come.” But for now,

they will concentrate on the task of meeting Spurs head on and

attempting to improve upon the result they got in the corresponding

fixture last season. The Magpies appeared to be heading for all

three points, courtesy of Fabricio Coloccini’s 59th-minute strike

when Aaron Lennon snatched a draw in injury time. Even the most

one-eyed members of the Toon Army would admit the visitors deserved

a point on the day, and going one better this time around would be

viewed as a significant achievement. Pardew has been delighted with

the efforts of his players to date, but he knows this weekend’s

fixture is perhaps their toughest so far. He said: “I don’t see any

problem in saying that. “They are, certainly offensively, by some

distance the best team we have played, and as a whole team,

defensively and everything about a team, they are the best team

too. “They are four games undefeated and looking strong to have a

really good season. “It’s a benchmark for us, but also for them too

because it’s not going to be easy coming to us. “We are unbeaten

and at home, and that’s never easy to come to St James’ Park. “At

home, Harry’s bright enough to know we are a force whatever team

runs out for Newcastle. “But particularly this year, we have been

strong at home. We have won a couple of games quite comfortably.

“But this is a much sterner test.”