Pardew happy with Newcastle depth

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Published: Friday 31st October 2014 by The News Editor

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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has warned his players few of them can count on their place in his team after his understudies took centre-stage.

The 53-year-old was unable to call upon senior men Mike Williamson, Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse because of injury for the Barclays Premier League trip to Tottenham last Sunday and Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup visit to Manchester City, for which he also chose to rest the likes of Tim Krul, Steven Taylor and Yoan Gouffran.

However, young striker Ayoze Perez rose to the challenge at White Hart Lane and youngsters Rolando Aarons and Adam Armstrong, as well as Ryan Taylor – playing his first game after 26 months on the sidelines – did the same at the Etihad Stadium to secure two famous victories and convince Pardew of the depth of his squad.

The Magpies face Liverpool at St James’ Park on Saturday brimming with confidence after winning their last three games in all competitions, and with the manager believing he now has genuine options.

Pardew said: “When you pay a lot of money for players, the CV and the reputation and what they have done goes before them, to a degree, [Remy] Cabella and Moussa [Sissoko] when he came, Mapou [Yanga-Mbiwa] to a degree.

“But it’s difficult to come from international football. Sometimes there’s an adjustment, and sometimes it works straight away, like [Yohan] Cabaye did.

“I think Cabella is going to take a little bit of time, so therefore it is nice to have the option of one or two of those younger players because in my mind, I put the CVs in the drawer and I then now go out on to the training pitch and treat everybody the same – otherwise I shouldn’t be in this job – and I try to do that.

“Of course, I will take favour with players I know have the experience and have done it, the [Fabricio] Coloccinis, the Cheick Tiotes of this world. They will get a slightly more advantageous position when they have a poor game.

“But the rest of them are very much trying to find the shirt.”

Tiote, who has a calf problem, will be missing once again against Liverpool, but Cisse has a chance, although medics are monitoring him after the screws used to repair his broken kneecap caused a reaction they are hoping will settle down.

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is confident there is plenty more to come from him and the team this term.

Following his summer move from Southampton, England international Lallana had to wait until September 13 to make his competitive debut for his new club due to a knee injury he sustained in pre-season.

He now has 11 appearances and one goal to his name for a Liverpool outfit struggling for consistency so far after the highs of 2013-14.

Second in the table last season, the Reds go into the clash at Newcastle lying seventh.

Lallana admits he is not yet firing on all cylinders individually but is optimistic his “best form is not too far away”, and has also emphasised the entire squad’s commitment to improving results.

The 26-year-old told liverpoolfc.com: “There’s still more to come.

“I feel it’s going to be a gradual process. There are lots of games coming, so hopefully my best form is not too far away.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy joining Liverpool, but it’s an opportunity I am delighted to have. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I’ll always give it my all and work my hardest, whether I’m playing well or not.

“That’s an attitude that filters through the squad. It’s an honest group here and I can assure you we’re working hard in training day in, day out to put it right and get good results.”

Liverpool will once again be without striker Daniel Sturridge for Saturday’s contest.

Sturridge was ruled out for two to four weeks earlier this month with a calf problem having only just recovered from a thigh injury sustained on England duty.

Liverpool also still have Mamadou Sakho (thigh) and Jon Flanagan (knee) unavailable for selection, along with ex-Newcastle man Jose Enrique, another sidelined by a knee issue.

Meanwhile, Rodgers has praised the Newcastle hierarchy for keeping faith in manager Alan Pardew.

Pardew was under severe scrutiny earlier this season during a poor run of results for his side, but the 14th-placed Magpies have won their last three games in all competitions.

And Rodgers said: “It is great credit to the directors there at Newcastle, because I know Alan is a top-class manager, but we all know the pressures of being a manager if you’re not winning games.

“We’ve seen already this season the number of boards and owners that change their manager.”

Published: Friday 31st October 2014 by The News Editor

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