Newcastle United's intense pre-season continues

ALAN Pardew is delighted with the level of “intensity” being shown by his Newcastle United players in pre-season, with the Premier League’s kick-off now just a fortnight away.

Alan Pardew

ALAN Pardew is delighted with the level of “intensity” being shown by his Newcastle United players in pre-season, with the Premier League’s kick-off now just a fortnight away.

Pardew hopes to add to his group soon and has predicted transfer activity will pick up rapidly in the next 10 days.

United clocked up around 10,000 miles Stateside during a USA tour that has been hailed as a success by players and staff.

Manager Pardew will link up with his Magpies stars tomorrow at the club’s Benton base ahead of their next friendly, against Leeds United.

The bulk of United’s squad returned to the UK in the early hours of yesterday morning before making the journey across London from Heathrow to Luton and then back to Tyneside, with instructions to recuperate from jet lag and tiredness ahead of the clash at Elland Road on Sunday.

Pardew will have increased options ahead of the visit to Yorkshire with Yohan Cabaye, Joey Barton and Nile Ranger, as well as new dads Danny Simpson and Mike Williamson, back to bolster the squad.

Pardew (pictured right) told The Journal:“I am very pleased.

“The three games (in the USA) have been really tough, which I expected. We’re going to play Arsenal in our first game and we have to be beyond even the intensity and toughness we showed in the US.

“We have pushed the players. We were overloaded in Orlando and that was evident – we did too much work before that game.

“We learned from that in Columbus and we saw some great performances.”

Two of Pardew’s new signings, Sylvain Marveaux and Demba Ba, shone in the final 3-0 win in Columbus, contributing some bright performances – while Dan Gosling was a rip-roaring success in all three games.

Pardew said: “There were some great performances – one from Dan Gosling, for certain. Sylvain Marveaux and Demba Ba in particular. They really make me feel that a couple more players and we aren’t far away.”

Paris Saint-Germain striker Mevlüt Erdinç remains the club’s main focus in the transfer market while Pardew also hopes to sign a left-sided player, with Manchester City full-back Wayne Bridge also on his shortlist.

Reflecting on any incoming activity, Pardew said: “The merry go-round will then start thick and fast.

“I hope to have them in place in time for Arsenal.

“That’s the motivation of Mike (Ashley), Derek (Llambias) and myself, to get them in before Arsenal. But you can never say for definite.”

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