ALAN PARDEW has vowed to turn things around at Newcastle United after admitting the pressure is mounting following a defeat to Reading which has kept them in a fight to stay out of the Premier League’s bottom three.
Pardew hopes to give Newcastle’s push to stay in the topflight a boost in the next 48 hours with the acquisition of French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Montpellier accepted an offer of £6.7m over the weekend and the 23-year-old is due on Tyneside this morning to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical.
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If all goes to plan he should be confirmed as Newcastle’s latest recruit at some stage tomorrow, but Newcastle are actively working on other additions too.
Bordeaux’s forward Yoann Gouffran, 26, is still in Newcastle’s sights after losing out to Queens Park Rangers in the race for Loic Remy last week.
Bolton’s David Ngog has been considered, while St Etienne’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is thought to be top of Newcastle’s wish list.
With ten days remaining of the January transfer window, Pardew is keen for further progress and hopes to have “two or three” new faces before the crucial trip to Aston Villa a week tomorrow.
While there is plenty of activity behind the scenes to get deals done, the Newcastle boss is also determined to ensure those players he already had under his wing recapture top form.
Losing 2-1 to Reading on Saturday means Newcastle can’t afford to lose at Villa Park or they risk dropping into the bottom three. Two points separate Newcastle from two of the three teams in the relegation zone.
After signing an eight-year contract in September, there is no intention from the boardroom to change the manager.
Pardew is confident he can lead Newcastle out of the mire.
“I think it’s been tough. It’s been a tough scenario, but it’s not something that fazes me,”
said Pardew, after a run of just two wins from 18.
“I’m feeling disappointed, for sure. You don’t want the stadium booing your substitutions as the manager. But that’s what I have to accept.
“I will accept it and I’ll be fine when I go back to work – probably in about an hour’s time. I have a good staff and good players, but they need a boost, there’s no doubt about that.
“A win would have been different, but we’ve lost to a team who are below us and that has put us under pressure and put me under pressure.
“I will have to do what I do and I’ll have to do it well. I have be strong and make sure my players are strong.”
Pardew was in no mood to discuss specific transfer targets after the Reading defeat and intends to have his players in the training ground during a free week to work on putting things right.
But the first challenge will be to find a solution to Fabricio Coloccini’s situation. The skipper still wants to return to Argentina.
A meeting, postponed last Wednesday, is due to take place today and there is unlikely to be an easy answer.
Newcastle are reluctant to let him leave without a fee.
But Coloccini wants to join San Lorenzo and return home for nothing, citing personal reasons.