Pardew would prefer routine Toon

BY foxsports • February 10, 2011

Pardew and his players, including new signing Shefki Kuqi, will head for Ewood Park on Saturday, having had to scrap their way back from the brink of a humiliating home defeat to snatch a point from Arsenal. The Magpies trailed 4-0 at St James' Park after just 26 minutes and looked to be heading for a trouncing until, in the wake of Abou Diaby's early second-half dismissal, they struck four times without reply to claim a draw. Even for a club with Newcastle's capacity for the unlikely, last Saturday had to go down as a red letter day. Pardew said: "I got a couple of texts saying, 'Welcome to the north-east', 'Welcome to being Newcastle manager'. "But I haven't got this grey hair from not having a few hairy days in the past. "I have not actually had a day quite like that, but I enjoyed it all the same. It was a great way to end. "In your lifetime, you could play another 200 games, 300, 500 games and not be involved in another game like that. "It was an amazing, amazing game - but it's not something that is the highlight of our season. "It's been and gone and it's the next game for us. The next game is a tough game. "They are a good side, Blackburn, and that's what it's about." Defender Danny Simpson revealed earlier this week that Pardew's half-time team-talk pulled no punches, and while the manager was not elaborating on what he said, he was delighted with the response. He explained: "I said probably what any Newcastle fans would have said at that moment in time. There were a couple of tactical things in there, but not too many. "You have to have people respond to criticism and adulation in the same way and go out and be professional, and we did that. "It was a joy to watch the second half, and bumping into fans this week, I know they immensely enjoyed it. "It was an unbelievable game." Newcastle will have a new face among their ranks when they arrive at Ewood Park in the shape of 34-year-old Finland international striker Kuqi, who has joined the club until the end of the season. Pardew is confident the former Blackburn player, who was a free agent after being released by Swansea last month, will provide much-needed back-up to Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and Nile Ranger. He said: "What Shefki can bring is experience and a presence because with Shola [Ameobi] being injured, we lack a little bit of presence. "He is a guy who is a real gentleman and character, and anyone who has worked with him would know that. "I thought that was important as well, that we didn't bring in somebody who might not be able to handle the group we have got. "We have got a group who are honest and in your face, and if you are not right, then you will be told, not just by the staff, but by the players, so you need to be the right person. "He gives me options from the bench, and that will be his role." Kuqi was delighted to have been handed a chance to play in the Premier League once again. He said: "Over however many games I play, I'm not going to promise anything, but I will give 110 per cent every minute I play. "As a player, you just need one split-second. Maybe as a centre-forward you get in the team and in that split-second, you get a goal which changes everything. "I have to work hard and if an opportunity comes along, then I want to be ready."

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