ALAN PARDEW has urged his players to put a difficult week behind them and kick-start their season by denting Chelsea's Premier League title hopes.
The Magpies welcome Jose Mourinho's men to St James' Park tomorrow still smarting from both their 2-1 derby defeat at Sunderland and Wednesday night's extra-time exit from the League Cup at the hands of Manchester City.
Now Pardew has challenged his team to launch a fightback by slaying one of the Premier League's biggest powers.
He said: "It can transform your season, a win against Chelsea or Spurs, and that's what we have got to look for. It is frustrating because it's difficult when there's such emotion riding after the Sunderland game, and I understand that.
"But we are hurt as well. When you have played your heart out and in the 85th minute the opposition smash it in the top corner...
"We are down and we need a lift and I hope our fans give us a lift on Saturday. They did against City and we responded to that, and they need to be in really, really good voice for us to have a chance against Chelsea."
Defensive worries continue to hamper Pardew, who will again be without skipper Fabricio Coloccini and his central defensive partner Steven Taylor tomorrow, although the former could make next weekend's trip to Tottenham. In addition, left-back Paul Dummett will miss out with a hamstring problem.