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Newcastle boss thinks cup tie can ease derby pain - slightly
ALAN PARDEW has challenged Newcastle United’s players rocked by a second successive Wear-Tyne derby defeat to respond by booking a place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup tonight.
Despite facing top quality opposition in the shape of Manchester City in the fourth round, Pardew is ready to throw in a number of fringe players even though he described winning a trophy as a ‘priority this year.’
The Newcastle boss – labelled ‘angry’ following Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Sunderland by experienced striker Shola Ameobi – has extra pressure on his shoulders to lead the club to success this season after suffering at the Stadium of Light.
While the Magpies still sit in mid-table in the Premier League, the bigger picture is that there are increased concerns on Tyneside with large sections of supporters critical of the Mike Ashley regime.
Pardew has regularly escaped the fans’ focus but in losing to Sunderland for the second time in seven months he knows he could do with a string of improved results, starting with tonight’s visit of City in the League Cup before dates with Chelsea and Tottenham.
“We are into a really tough part of the season in terms of fixtures,” said Pardew. “City are coming off a defeat (to Chelsea). I don't know how many times they get beat twice on the trot. It is not often so we will have to do something extraordinary there.
“Jose Mourinho has a spring in his step again after Sunday’s win for Chelsea. Then we have Tottenham. After that we are coming into some games, which are really what our season is all about.
“We have lost two games to teams in and around us and we have to try to make up those two against the top teams. That is how I look at the Premier League.”
Regardless of his hopes of reaching the last-eight of the Capital One Cup first, Pardew plans to make adjustments, like he has in previous rounds.
He said: “We'll be strong, but we've got three games in six days, we've got to make sure for the Premier League games we're at full tilt. With this one I've got three or four players I feel need to come in. I feel they have the chance to play against Chelsea.
“It's a chance for players close to first team to make a stand. That question is in front of me, who I play against Chelsea? But for us this year it’s a priority that we want to win a trophy for our fans, a great way to put away the disappointment of Sunderland is to get past City.”
Newcastle’s second half performance at Sunderland had threatened to end in a victory to please Tyne rather than Wear. Fabio Borini’s 84th minute stunner, though, left Pardew with a sour taste in his mouth.
The Newcastle boss voiced his frustrations in the dressing room after the match. Long-serving Ameobi, hoping to start tonight with his brother Sammy, said: “He wasn’t the happiest chap. He was very disappointed after the game. There was a bit of anger there from the manager, which is understandable.”
He added: “What happened to us last season after the derby defeat (losing 6-0 to Liverpool) it means we really want to rectify it this time, and to not be able to do that last time was sickening.
“Being a fan as well. There are no real excuses to be made, regardless of how well you think you are doing. But if you lose a derby game once is never good, and this time has been no different.
“It is great now we have got this game to focus on, we have to put the derby to bed, regardless of how much it is hurting, and move on and try get positive again for this game.”
In losing to Sunderland, Pardew became the first Newcastle manager in 46 years to suffer back-to-back league defeats to their much-hated neighbours.
Pardew said: “Am I over that anger? Not really. I want to take it into Man City and hope my players do too but in the right manner because we need to find the right solution to win the game.
“We need to have that extra bit of aggression in our play in terms of moving the ball, passing it fast and passing it quicker than we did on Sunday - and making the physical challenges that are stronger than Man City's.”
Newcastle will be without Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor through injury again and both are said to be struggling to make the visit of Chelsea too. Cheik Tiote will play and retain the captaincy.
Tiote was given a seven-month suspended prison sentence on Monday after he pleaded guilty to possessing a fake driving licence. He had bought a false Belgian licence for £12,800.
Pardew said: “I’m relieved, he's our captain and playing the best football he's played in 14 months. He's been terrific in the last few games. Being captain has given him a push. His discipline on Sunday was great.”
Newcastle: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett; Tiote, Anita; Gouffran, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi; Cisse.
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