Belfast Telegraph

Pardew urges Cabella to toughen up

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has warned summer signing Remy Cabella he will have to toughen up if he wants to make it in the Barclays Premier League.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who has lost his place in the France squad after finding himself sitting on the bench for his club in recent weeks, has struggled to get to grips with the physicality of English football since leaving Montpellier.

Pardew is confident Cabella, who has himself admitted that the Tyneside public are yet to see the best of him, has the ability to make a major impact, but only if he can learn to ride the challenges which will inevitably come his way.

The Magpies boss said: "His conduct and professionalism are very, very impressive. That gives you heart that he's going to be a success.

"Obviously he's definitely got technical quality, but he's got to get a grasp. I don't think he really gets referees. He moans (in training) when me and (assistant) John (Carver) ref - and we're better than Premier League refs!

"He goes down and he thinks some of the challenges in this division should be fouls. He genuinely believes that - but they're not."

Cabella started the first six league games, but was eventually taken out of the firing line for the trip to Swansea on October 4.

He has been used as a substitute in each of the last three, all of which have resulted in victory for the Magpies, and Pardew is confident he is quietly learning his trade in a new environment.

The 53-year-old said: "I think he's beginning to get the intensity of the division. The cameos he's done have been significant - Spurs, Liverpool, they were significant.

"He's on the cusp of starting again now as he comes to grips with what this division's about.

"It's about physicality and mentality, about where you should be on the pitch at a particular time, about how you can affect the opposition best."

Cabella will hope for further involvement at West Brom on Sunday as Pardew's men go in search of a fifth successive win in all competitions and a fourth in the league, a return which has completely changed the atmosphere around the club.

Just a few weeks ago, the manager was facing a tide of criticism; he now finds himself among the nominees for the manager of the month award for October.

Pardew said: "Some things we've done have surprised me. Some of the young players have been particularly impressive - Mehdi's (Abeid) two performances at Man City and against Liverpool for example.

"You can't second guess them. On the training ground, you see the potential - I keep mentioning Adam Armstrong, the guy who hasn't really featured yet. You can have a good idea.

"I've been in the game long enough to know that they were going to come - it's when."

The emergence of youngsters Abeid and Rolando Aarons has been timely for Pardew, although the latter is a doubt for the trip to the Hawthorns because of a knock, and Cheick Tiote and Gabriel Obertan, who will be sidelined for some time after undergoing surgery to repair a torn thigh muscle, will definitely not be involved.

But while a spell in the treatment room will come as a blow, none of the walking wounded will have to contend with the kind of fight from which Argentinian midfielder Jonas Gutierrez has just emerged.

The 31-year-old could return to training within a month after winning his battle against testicular cancer, and a warm welcome awaits him.

Pardew said: "His surgeon says that he thinks in a month's time he can return to professional training, which is fantastic news.

"He's been given the all-clear and we're absolutely delighted. He's a bubbly character and a much loved guy in the dressing room. We're all really pleased.

"Really and truly from where he's been in terms of that particular illness, just for him to be back on the training ground will be really terrific. Let's not look beyond that at the moment."

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