ALAN Pardew has warned his Newcastle United stars not to be mislead by Fulham’s indifferent start to the Premier League season and instead anticipate a “very strong” challenge from Martin Jol’s men.
The Cottagers started their campaign with a goalless draw against Aston Villa before losing 2-0 at Wolves.
However, they overcome Ukrainian outfit FC Dnipro in the Europa League on Thursday night, and Pardew believes the west London club will prove a substantial test tomorrow.
He said: “From what I have seen, sometimes the results do not reflect the performances.
“Fulham’s performances have been very strong and they have very good players. They will have another strong season.
“They are a good defensive unit and they are playing a little bit more expansively under Martin Jol, so that is a little tweak on their style. We are tweaking our style a bit as well.
“We have not got it as I want it yet, but Yohan Cabaye probably had his best game on Thursday night and was starting to influence things for us and making us look a bit different.”
Pardew added: “I think both managers, myself and Martin, will be looking at our side and looking for fatigue around the 60, 70-minute mark and maybe we will need to freshen the team up.
“I think we will both use 14 players.
“You have to remember it is a squad game in the Premier League and the other competitions you are in.
“Our squad has come through with flying colours in the first three and now we have a big game tomorrow.
“ I think we had it a lot tougher at Scunthorpe than Fulham did against Dnipro. I have not seen their game, but I am guessing that.
“You have seen lots of Premier League clubs in the Carling Cup go away and struggle and a lot of them have been beaten. We could have been beaten.”
That United did not had much to do with the performance of man-of-the-match Tim Krul.
Having started the season with the Dutchman as his preferred No 1 goalkeeper, Pardew added: “He had a lot more to do here than in the first two league games and I said that would happen to him beforehand.
“You knew he had to have his concentration levels at their peak and he was very much on his game. We could have conceded two or three without him and it could have finished 3-3.”