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Newcastle boss asks fans to be patient
A CONFIDENT Alan Pardew has urged frustrated supporters to judge his team after eight matches following a lacklustre transfer window in which Newcastle United landed just one new senior player.
The acquisition of loan signing Loic Remy before the September 2 deadline proved to be the only new arrival at St James' Park despite Pardew's claims throughout the summer that he wanted more.
The Newcastle boss released a statement the day after the window closed in which he stated he was happy with landing Remy and how he was optimistic for the season ahead.
But he knows the lack of incoming transfers has annoyed the majority of Newcastle fans and hopes they show some patience because he believes results could prove he has a good squad at his disposal.
There has been talk of further, increased protest levels after a few weeks of growing unrest when derogatory chants have been aimed at director of football Joe Kinnear and owner Mike Ashley.
Pardew said: “I hope it doesn't affect us (the players' performances). The fans' reaction has been the kind of reaction we have here, which is extreme. We have extreme reactions to our football club. It's so personal, something that was shown on Wednesday night for Steve Harper's charity match (when almost 51,000 turned up in support).
“When they see how we play over the next eight games, if we keep everybody fit, I think they will feel a lot better than they did last Monday on the deadline day.
“Over the past ten or so years since I've become a manager, I've said the first ten games really and truly give you a clear indication about where you are at. Sometimes it can be slightly distorted if you get injuries to key players, but nine times out of ten it's pretty close."
Despite the spotlight on the transfer window, Newcastle have not actually started the new season too badly. After a heavy opening weekend defeat at Manchester City, the Magpies have gone on to follow up a goalless draw with West Ham with back-to-back victories over Morecambe and Fulham.
A victory at Aston Villa tomorrow could lift Newcastle up in to the top four after four league matches. Pardew, though, is keen not to look at the league table until form settles down right across the division.
He said: “Of course, you can have periods when you don't do so well. West Brom, I think, had a great first half to the season, but not the second half of last season. That can happen. But in terms of what you have and where you are, it does give you an indication.
“You might only win three of those games, but you could have potentially won six, Therefore, you feel confident. You may have won six and sneaked a couple, so is that going to carry you forward?
“It gives you a much bigger gauge to where you are at than after just three games. And these three games for me are completely distorted. We had two internationals in-between, the window was open and forget about Newcastle; Arsenal, Manchester City and United, Cardiff, we are all in the same boat. It's not easy."
Pardew was an interested observer in the stands at St James' Park on Wednesday night when more than 50,000 fans packed inside to see a Newcastle Legends team face AC Milan Glorie.
The Milan team included a relatively impressive 45-year-old, Paolo Di Canio, and he lived up to his billing as the pantomime villain, with Joey Barton even leaving his mark on the back of the Sunderland manager's legs.
Di Canio joked yesterday that he was happy for "Mackem to score" at Newcastle that night in reference to his goal in Milan's successful penalty shoot-out.
And Pardew thinks the attendance and the occasion was fitting for Harper, while believing there are few other clubs around who could have put on such a show for a charity game.
He said: “Despite me being Newcastle manager, it's nice to sit in the stands, get a lift and see 50,000 people turn up for a testimonial. It's unbelievable. I'm truly not just saying that.
"I don't know any other club that could have done that. I had a few giggles, a few cheers. I definitely booed. I can 100 per cent confirm that I booed Di Canio – although he was good."
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