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It's time we took control, says United boss Pardew

ALAN Pardew has acknowledged the need for Newcastle United to start playing with “intelligence” again as they head to Anfield looking to shake off the spectre of some disjointed Premier League performances.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

ALAN Pardew has acknowledged the need for Newcastle United to start playing with “intelligence” again as they head to Anfield looking to shake off the spectre of some disjointed Premier League performances.

United take on Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool on the back of their first unbroken week of training of the season, something that Pardew believes could be crucial to rediscovering the rhythm that has been lacking in their domestic displays this campaign.

While Newcastle’s form has been far from disastrous – they are nestled in the top half of the table and have only lost to Chelsea and Manchester United this term – Pardew (pictured below) is fully aware that they have to improve.

He has spoken of the need to send out a “thinking team” to face struggling Liverpool and is particularly keen for his players to start “getting a grip” of games again. He feels that the opposition have controlled too many matches against them this year and wants to see his stars assert themselves.

There may be changes of personnel and system too, with Pardew considering a start for Vurnon Anita – who was understood to be disappointed at being left out of the game against West Brom. Demba Ba, who has not trained this week, may also be involved while Papiss Cissé is set for a recall.

“My selection will count a lot on Demba and whether he is fit or not,” Pardew said.

“But I do feel that we need to get a more thinking team on the pitch and the best thing that has happened to us, apart from the good result, is the fact we have had a week on the training ground where we have actually done some work with the team because we have sorely missed it.

“The rhythm and the passing options are something that we, although getting decent results, have been grappling at.

“Hopefully, we will have a bit more fluidity in our play and cause Liverpool problems.

“It has been tough because last week we went week-to-week almost and had a week’s prep and other teams were playing midweek, which meant we had a slight advantage and we were bringing that home.

“This time, we have the pressures of a big club – midweek Euro fixtures.

“It is nice, don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining, but it is different. We are getting to grips with it.”

It is all about control for Pardew, who says that he is not particularly concerned with his team being pleasing on the eye.

What bothers him more is getting greater possession and dictating the tempo of the contest. They did that for half an hour against West Brom before the visitors ran them ragged in a second half that was eventually salvaged by Cissé’s fortunate goal.

“I still think there are a lot of attributes against West Brom which went unnoticed. There are things we are doing well,” he said.

“There were some periods in that game when we played some fantastic football, but we have not got the control of the game that I would like.

“I have always said that is very important for the club, what we had last year and that’s what we lost against West Brom in the second half, the control of the game.

“If you’re winning games in the Premier League you do not always have to look a great team, rhythmically great.

“You have got to have control of the game and that is what has worried me more than us aesthetically looking good.

“When the opposition has a grip of the game, that should not happen to us as much as it has this year.”

Meanwhile, Pardew has ruled out the prospect of the likes of Romain Amalfitano, Mehdi Abeid and Sylvain Marveaux departing on loan despite them slipping down the pecking order at St James’ Park.

None have featured recently but the Newcastle boss says that he is not tempted to send any of them out on loan.

“Not with the run of games we have got,” he said. “Everyone is staying here.”


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