Alan Pardew: Judge this squad after the next eight games

Alan Pardew has urged Newcastle United supporters to reserve judgment on his squad until the next eight Premier League games have passed

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Newcastle United Manager Alan Pardew
Newcastle United Manager Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew last night urged Newcastle United supporters to reserve judgment on his squad until the next eight Premier League games have passed.

Speaking publicly for the first time since transfer deadline day, the Newcastle manager asked for more patience to be shown by the supporters.

This may be asking a lot from some who fear the squad is nowhere close to being strong enough.

And that includes for Newcastle player Rob Lee who even went so far as to say Joe Kinnear could put off players from signing for the club.

Pardew, as the voice of the club, understandably wanted to put a positive take on the situation.

He said: “The fans’ reaction has been the kind of reaction we have here, which is extreme. We have extreme reactions to our football club.

“It’s so personal, something that was shown on Wednesday night (at the Steve Harper game).

“When they see how we play over the next eight games, if we keep everybody fit, I think they will feel a lot better than they did last Monday on the deadline day.

“Over the past ten or so years since I’ve become a manager, I’ve said the first ten games really and truly gives you a clear indication about where you are at. Sometimes it can be slightly distorted if you get injuries to key players, but nine times out of ten it’s pretty close.

“Of course, you can have periods when you don’t do so well, but in terms of what you have and where you are, it does give you an indication.

“You might only win three of those games, but you could have potentially won six, Therefore, you feel confident. You may have won six and sneaked a couple, so is that going to carry you forward?

“It gives you a much bigger gauge to where you are at than three games.

“And these three games for me are completely distorted. We had two internationals in-between, the window was opened and forget about Newcastle because Arsenal, Manchester City and United and Cardiff, we are all in the same boat. It’s not easy.”

When speaking to the broadcast media, Pardew was even more bullish about his squad.

He said: “As much as the media and some of our fans have reacted really badly to the closing of the window, I have not so much. I think I’ve got a good side.

“With Loic Remy fit and training really well at the moment, I think we’re in good shape at the moment, It would have been nice to have got another offensive player or maybe a marquee signing for our fans and our team.

“We didn’t manage to do that but we’ve still got a very, very strong team and I look forward to the next period of games.”

But ex-midfield general Lee, who turned out for the Harper match, did not share Pardew’s optimism.

He couldn’t believe the crowd on Wednesday was the biggest of the season - to watch two teams of mostly middle aged - a fact he believed summed up a growing apathy surrounding St James’ Park

Lee said: “It’s probably a break from the monotony of watching the team play. Against West Ham, it was 0-0 and I couldn’t remember playing in a 0-0. It was flat. The atmosphere was flat, Newcastle teams always attacked at home.

“Can the club be successful? It depends on whether he (Mike Ashley) wants to spend some money and whether he is going to back Alan Pardew or not.

It’s not going to be a short-term fix. It’s not a case of the club only need a couple of players and they’ll be very good. It’s more long term than that. There aren’t the kids coming through the Academy. Since I left we’ve had Steven Taylor, Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi.

“Players don’t want to join Newcastle anymore. Kevin Keegan sold this club to me when I joined. If Joe Kinnear was speaking to you, are you going to join this football club? I’m not so sure. If he sold it, you don’t know if you’re going to get someone even worse. The likelihood is you are going to get a foreign owner. There aren’t any Geordie billionaires out there. That’s the problem you’ve got.”

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