Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Pardew hopes to bolster squad in January

Boss Alan Pardew has backed Newcastle's owners to make the right decisions in January

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has insisted owner Mike Ashley is well aware of the strains European football is placing on his injury-hit squad.

The Magpies have been unable to repeat the domestic form which secured a return to continental action last season amid a rash of injuries and suspensions which has exposed the relative lack of depth in the squad.

Pardew said: "We are all concerned. It's not like it's just heaped on myself and 'Get on with it'. The managing director and the owner are very conscious of where we are and we are trying to make sure that we look at the period and events leading up to the next window, and we will react from there."

Ajax midfielder Vurnon Anita was the only senior player added to the squad during the summer as Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias stuck to their valuations.

The Magpies have already been linked with another attempt to land Lille's France international full-back Mathieu Debuchy in January, while Pardew has made no secret of his interest in former striker Andy Carroll.

Pardew said: "This isn't about transfers yet. I have heard in the press and even our fans talking about transfers in, etc, etc. Really, we just need to knuckle down and get some results with the squad we have because there's actually nothing we can do until the window opens anyway."

The Magpies will reach the knockout stages of the Europa League if they can beat Portuguese outfit Maritimo at St James' Park on Thursday night, and that will ensure their first foray into European competition for five years will extend into the new year.

The focus on the strength of Pardew's squad has been sharpened by successive home Barclays Premier League defeats by West Ham and Swansea, which have left Newcastle sitting in 12th place in the table, with a run of just one win in seven league games.

Pardew said: "I have been very fortunate to have a squad that has remained pretty fit and healthy since I have been here, and we have not really had much down time. We have had the odd result that didn't really go our way, but have rebounded very, very quickly."

Skipper Fabricio Coloccini, midfielder Jonas Gutierrez and striker Papiss Cisse will be available after suspension, injury and FIFA-imposed ineligibility respectively, but midfielder Cheick Tiote is banned and usual partner Yohan Cabaye is facing a spell on the sidelines as he prepares to undergo groin surgery.

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