Pardew targets stronger squad after being forced to field reserves for FA Cup clash

CUP EXIT: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew during the FA Cup third round match at Brighton on Saturday

CUP EXIT: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew during the FA Cup third round match at Brighton on Saturday

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Writer/Sub-Editor

ALAN PARDEW felt aggrieved at being forced to field reserve players as his Newcastle United side were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking.

James Tavernier, Paul Dummett, Nile Ranger, Mehdi Abeid and Rob Elliot were all involved in the 2-0 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion, and the Magpies manager, shorn of his best players through injury and unavailability, admitted his frustration at the paucity of resources at his disposal.

“As a Newcastle manager going there in the FA Cup third round I’m a bit aggrieved that I can’t put out a stronger team than that,” said Pardew, who will now miss Shola Ameobi for the Norwich City game after the striker was dismissed at the Amex Stadium.

“There were young players there who gave everything – they probably gave their maximum performance – but unfortunately they shouldn’t be playing in the FA Cup third round, they should be in our development team.

“My record at Newcastle in the FA Cup is awful but the three teams I’ve put out should be stronger.

“I’ve got a united dressing room, the experience is strong, we just need our better players out on the pitch.”

Mathieu Debuchy signed on Friday and Pardew confirmed the Frenchman will be involved at Carrow Road on Saturday, while Pardew has pledged to use January to aid his side’s relegation battle.

“Myself and my staff are frustrated because we wanted to put out a better side,’’ he insisted. Now we’re working around the clock to get players in and players back because there’s no doubt about it, the form we’re in, the momentum we’ve got, we’re fighting to stay in the Premier League. I make no bones about saying that.

“We just haven’t really had any momentum with players or the team. I’ve almost had to change the team every week through injury and not being able to have my better players on the pitch.

“You look at that Everton game [where Newcastle lost 2-1], we were probably one quality player away from getting a draw or may be winning it. We know we’re not far away but that team, we really should be a lot stronger than that in the third round of the FA Cup.”

Pardew, who was disappointed not to bring Debuchy in during the summer, rested Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini, who were both carrying knocks, and with Cheik Tiote’s absence owing to the African Cup of Nations, and Demba Ba’s move to Chelsea, the Newcastle manager has stressed the importance of bringing new blood in.

“We are very, very short. I think the board understand that and I think we need to do something about it,” said Pardew, who denied reports of unrest in the Magpies camp and reports linking Coloccini with a move to San Lorenzo, in Argentina.

“The young players gave their full effort but they lack consistency. Sometimes when you put young players into a strong team that’s got momentum they get by, no problem.

But we haven’t got that and there’s four or five of them having to play.”

Brighton repeated the feat of 12 months earlier when they sent Newcastle out of the cup in the fourth round, and manager Gus Poyet was happy to get one over on the Magpies once again.

“I wish I was playing Newcastle every week. It’s always Newcastle and me somehow,”

said Poyet, who scored both goals in Chelsea’s victory over the Magpies in the FA Cup semi-final in 2000.

“I think we were lucky. We had a great opportunity against a Newcastle team missing their best players.”

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