NILE Ranger has been told to go away and grow up if he wants a future in professional football.
After another week which saw him in court – first for breaking his bail conditions, then to be found guilty of drunk and disorderly behaviour – the striker joined League One Sheffield Wednesday on loan until the end of the season.
It is hard to see Ranger (pictured right) playing first-team football for Newcastle United again but, with more than four years left on his contract, they have little choice but to try and mend his ways.
Pardew’s message to the 20-year-old was unambiguous. He said: “He has to behave like a pro on and off the pitch. When he does, there will be an opportunity at this club or at another one.
“He has to prove that at Sheff Wednesday – a fantastic club with an experienced manager and a chief exec I know well. They are under no illusions what he has to do at the football club.”
Ranger, who did not score any of his three Newcastle goals in the Premier League, has also been loaned to Championship Barnsley this season.
His spell at Oakwell was cut short after an injury in only his fifth game. The best the striker can hope for from an exasperated Pardew is tough love.
When asked if he would be keeping in touch with Ranger during his time in South Yorkshire, the Magpies manager replied: “No. I will just be speaking to (manager) Dave Jones and (chief executive) Paul Aldridge and monitor it from there.”
Meanwhile, Pardew has revealed the Magpies’ response to the heart problems suffered by Fabrice Muamba in last week’s FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur.
He added: “We went proactive on that as most clubs have.
“We sent a letter to all our players saying if they had any concerns we would do a heart test screening and we organised that with the Freeman Hospital.
“We have also since discussed that and are going to screen all our players at the end of the season, which we do when they first sign, then every three years.
“Most of them, we have a good knowledge of their heart conditions, but that only makes sense from last week.
“I would hate to see that happen in a Premier League game.”