Friday 19 January 2018

Pardew pins hopes on new signings hitting ground running

Martin Hardy

Alan Pardew has accepted the responsibility is now his to turn around Newcastle United's faltering season following the signing of five new players during the transfer window.

Pardew has been backed with funds by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley this month in a bid to arrest a run of 10 defeats in 14 Premier League games, which has left the club two points above the relegation zone, and one above tonight's opponents, Aston Villa. Pardew knows he must integrate five French footballers into a squad which is fighting in Europe and on the domestic front.

"I think the challenge for me," he said, "is to get a team quickly here. The importance of the fixture is hard for them to comprehend. What happened to this club four years ago at Aston Villa (when Newcastle were relegated) is a message that will be difficult to portray to them unless you felt it.

"The most important thing is that we get performances and we hit the ground running with this team. There are some players that you just know are at the level are going to hit the ground running and I don't envisage Moussa Sissoko having a problem in this division."

Pardew has also been boosted by reaching a deal with Fabricio Coloccini, who trained with the team yesterday, to stay for the rest of the season. "I think it was a significant move that the owner was there (for the 2-1 defeat by Reading)," Pardew added. "In some ways, it was a watershed game in terms of the problems we were having.

"His reaction and that of Derek (Llambias, the managing director) has been very strong. When I turn around at Aston Villa I'm going to see a lot stronger bench and it gives me a much greater chance of turning a situation around.

"I think the signings have shown he (Ashley) is committed to the club because you don't sign (younger) players at that age if you're not committed to the club. His vision is much more long-term."

(© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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