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Pardew braced for Old Trafford backlash

NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew has warned his players to expect a Manchester United backlash as they attempt to end their 39-year wait for a victory at Old Trafford.

The Magpies head into tomorrow's trip to Manchester having not won at United since February 1972.

They do so looking to bounce back from their first Premier League defeat of the season at leaders Manchester City last weekend, but acutely aware of what lies in wait for them with United trailing their arch-rivals in the table and still coming to terms with Tuesday night's disappointing 2-2 Champions League draw with Benfica.

Pardew has immense respect for Red Devils counterpart Alex Ferguson, and knows he will have his players fired up to make an immediate response in an attempt to reel in City.

He said with a smile: "He's clocking up all sorts of milestones. It's about time he walked away and gave someone else a chance. He has been brilliant.

"I know he will be smarting from Wednesday's draw, so unfortunately, we are on the back of a negative from Manchester United's point of view, so it will be a tough game for us."


With history so overwhelmingly against them, Newcastle could be forgiven for making the trip to Old Trafford without any great confidence of returning with a positive result.

However, despite last week's reverse at the Etihad Stadium, Pardew is confident United will not have things all their own way.

He said: "If you are going to old Trafford against the quality of player and the atmosphere that's created, of course you are going to find it very, very difficult.

"The odds are that you are not going to get many victories, and 1972 suggests that maybe we are due one. You need a bit of luck. But you have got to force that. It's crucial when that chance comes along that we take it."

Leon Best and Cheik Tiote remain doubts for the game with knee and groin injuries respectively, but Danny Guthrie should be fit.