Top-six Newcastle looking to strengthen in January

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ALAN PARDEW has revealed Newcastle United are looking to do business in the January transfer window and hopes their current position in the Premier League’s top six will help the club attract players that can push them even further.

The Magpies consolidated sixth-place with an impressive 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday and they will be able to enjoy Christmas knowing they sit only six points behind league leaders Liverpool.

Their performance at Selhurst Park was highly impressive with Pardew’s men brushing aside a rejuvenated Palace of late in extremely difficult conditions thanks to strikes from Yohan Cabaye, a Danny Gabbidon own goal and a late Hatem Ben Arfa penalty.

It was Newcastle’s sixth win in eight games and their form continues to suggest a top six finish can be achieved for the second time in three seasons.

At the moment, it’s hard to see how Pardew can change his team let alone improve it, but as seasoned January spenders the Magpies boss has revealed the club is looking at potential targets.

In the past two winter windows owner Mike Ashley has sanctioned crucial transfers. Papiss Cisse’s arrival gave the Magpies that extra boost to guide them to fifth, while the signings of Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy almost twelve months ago helped keep Newcastle in the Premier League.

“We haven’t really talked too much about the finance that is available. We’ve talked about players and where we’re at,” revealed Pardew, whose side will welcome Stoke City to St James’ Park on Boxing Day.

“We’re making sure we don’t miss what could be a key signing. If you look at the two January windows we’ve done good business.

“We took Papiss two years ago which pushed us on and last year in an emergency we took four or five that we didn’t really want to do. They’ve still worked out well for us.

Graham Carr and Joe (Kinnear) and myself and the owner are very much on the ball with the January window coming up.

“Hopefully we can keep it all together and improve on it because the window’s opening and there might be an opportunity for us to galvanise ourselves and make ourselves even stronger. Absolutely it makes it easier to attract players.”

While the football is dominating the headlines right now, Newcastle have had their fair share of controversial moments this season. The arrival of Joe Kinnear last summer caused a stir on Tyneside, but Pardew believes everyone at the club is working well and is united in their aim to challenge at the top of the table.

He said: “I just think we’re in a good place as a club. I know we’ve some strange opinions about us from outside but we’re working well together.

“The owner is really pleased, I’m really pleased and the players are, more importantly. If the players aren’t happy, you can’t get those sort of performances.

“We sit down, we discuss and we make sure we make the right decision for the club.

The finance comes out of course but also a selection of what I need and with Joe’s knowledge of football he knows that the manager needs certain things.

“That has helped, in my opinion. I don’t really want to say much more on that but I think that’s a little insight for you.”

Although the conditions were atrocious, the Magpies battled the elements and produced an accomplished display against an Eagles side that had won three times since Tony Pulis’ arrival.

They played with an exuberance and confidence that Palace simply couldn’t deal with even if it was a relatively straightforward victory.

A result against a team that is battling at the bottom will not lead to anyone on Tyneside getting too carried away, but Pardew believes the winning mentality his players possess at the moment is key to such form continuing.

“The type of manager I am, I’ve always been super positive with my teams. I had to build their ego in terms of what they can achieve. You look at our dressing room before the game – we had a really good psychology for this game in terms of we knew what was going to happen. It was a swirly wind, a rainy pitch - could we keep it, could we retain possession?

“We did that brilliantly and you need great confidence to do that. We also went to Man United and played a different game and got our reward.

“This team is becoming a team that can handle different platforms and therefore as a manager it gives you great confidence. We have got great collective confidence. If we can beat Stoke I do think that Arsenal game will be really, really interesting for a lot of people.”

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