Pardew fires up melancholy Magpies
Published 31/10/2013 | 17:31
Alan Pardew has urged his players to put a difficult week behind them and kick-start their season by denting Chelsea's Barclays Premier League title hopes.
The Magpies welcome Jose Mourinho's men to St James' Park on Saturday still smarting from both their 2-1 derby defeat at Sunderland and Wednesday night's extra-time exit from the Capital One Cup at the hands of Manchester City.
Now Pardew has challenged his team to launch a fightback by slaying one of the Premier League's biggest powers.
He said: "It can transform your season, a win against Chelsea or Spurs, and that's what we have got to look for.
"It is frustrating because it's difficult when there's such emotion riding after the Sunderland game, and I understand that.
"But we are hurt as well. When you have played your heart out and in the 85th minute the opposition smash it in the top corner.
"We are down and we need a lift and I hope our fans give us a lift on Saturday. They did last night and we responded to that, and they need to be in really, really good voice for us to have a chance against Chelsea."
Pardew's critics have been in full voice since the setback at the Stadium of Light, which stripped much of the gloss off a satisfactory start to the season.
That had eased some of the pressure on him after the difficulties of the last campaign, at the end of which he survived a no-holds-barred meeting with owner Mike Ashley.
The relationship between the two has become increasingly strained, in particular as a result of Joe Kinnear's appointment as director of football.
However, Pardew is said to have been mystified by a report suggesting an intermediary has let it be known that the Newcastle boss could be interested in the vacancy at Crystal Palace, for whom he played.
Instead, he is concentrating on the task of reinvigorating a season which has seen the club's most realistic chance of tangible success, the League Cup, come and go, and a second successive derby defeat that provided an unwelcome addition to his CV.
The 52-year-old said: "You have to get into the middle of your belly, the middle of your gut and find that little bit of fire that gets that result for you.
"I think we have got an even chance against Chelsea, I genuinely do, as well as they are playing because I think my team is playing well.
"But you need those breaks and things to go your way and the first goal will be important in this fixture.
"To beat one of the top teams - and let's be honest, Chelsea are one of those, and we have got Spurs after that, who are in great form as well - you need to be at your very best.
"You cannot win a game in the Premier League, when they have got the resources they have got, unless you are at your very best.
"It's been proven time and time again that you can upset them, but you need to play very, very well and you need all your players to play very well.
"For us with the quality we have got, we could have perhaps three good-ish performances, but we need eight outstanding, for sure, so that's what we have got to hope we get."