Pardew: New faces trying too hard
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was urged his side to find a cutting edge after they drew another blank in a goalless draw at Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Tyneside outfit emerged with their first point of the new Barclays Premier League season from a contest in which most of the few goalscoring opportunities there were came their way.
The likes of Remy Cabella and Daryl Janmaat failed to make the most of chances before substitute and fellow summer signing Siem de Jong was denied late on by a decent Brad Guzan save.
Newcastle lost their first game of the campaign 2-0 at home against Manchester City and they ended the game at Villa Park one a man light after Mike Williamson was sent off in stoppage time.
Pardew was satisfied with his side's overall display, but said: "Obviously the last third today was not so good.
"I think a lot of the new offensive players are trying so hard and sometimes that isn't the way to score goals.
"You need to have that super, uber-confidence. We know we need to get some goals and hopefully at Gillingham (in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday) we can get a couple before we play Crystal Palace (in the Premier League at home on Saturday) and get that one off us.
"But there was a lot of good play and a lot of good movement.
"I felt sorry for Willo (Williamson), because I thought he was terrific in his distribution today and then he gets sent off.
"Overall, to come to Villa and control the second half like we did, I'm pleased."
Pardew, who said he felt Newcastle had deserved to win, was caught on camera during the game performing an apparent dance to convey a message to France midfielder Cabella from the touchline, which involved the manager shifting from side to side and pulling an exaggerated smile.
Asked about that, Pardew said: "I just felt he was trying too hard. He had a lot of publicity last week (for his performance against City) and I just felt he was a bit tense.
"He had a couple of great situations for us where he didn't deliver and that is not like him. So I was just trying to get him to play with a smile.
"I spoke to him again at half-time and I thought he was better in the second half and he kept the balance of the team well. But he will play a lot better than he did today."
Pardew also said Newcastle had their "finger on the pulse" with regard to the possibility of doing further business before the end of the transfer window.
He stressed - after stating he thought there would be "some movement", with "maybe one or two" departures - that he has had no offers for any of his players.
Villa boss Paul Lambert gave an upbeat assessment of his team's performance, which followed their 1-0 win at Stoke last week.
Asked if he was worried about how much Villa had threatened the Newcastle goal, Lambert said: "To an extent, but then I think Guzan only had a couple of saves to make and that's not too bad.
"We have (strikers) Christian Benteke and Libor Kozak to come back from injury and once they come back we are going to be really strong in that department.
"I couldn't fault the lads for the way we played. We were resolute and it is another clean sheet. There were some really big performances there.
"It is a great start for us. After everyone was all doom and gloom about the club towards the end of last season, we certainly took that challenge on and I thought today we were excellent in the first half - all we needed was a finishing touch on that.
"Newcastle came down here last year and did a job on us (winning 2-1).
"I don't think anybody could begrudge us getting something from this game."