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Pardew wants changes but still eyes top half finish for Magpies
ALAN PARDEW has insisted Newcastle United can still finish in the Premier League's top ten this season but he is ready to wield the axe in his attempts to achieve the club's goals.
Despite a much-improved second half display from Newcastle, Everton continued their impressive start to the new season with a 3-2 win at Goodison Park last night to lift Roberto Martinez's men up to fourth.
It was the Magpies' third defeat in six Premier League games ahead of this Saturday's trip to Cardiff City, where Pardew will need to ensure there is no repeat of his team's first half showing against the Toffees.
While Everton's attacking play was outstanding, Newcastle's defending was awful and Pardew changed things at half-time by withdrawing £6.7m centre-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and replacing him with Mike Williamson.
By that time Newcastle had fallen three goals behind. Romelu Lukaku, who also had two goals ruled out for offside before the break, opened the scoring in the fifth minute and added another eight minutes before the interval.
In between those goals the on-loan striker from Chelsea teed up a lovely second for Ross Barkley and Newcastle's experienced defence looked incapable of dealing with them both.
Pardew has had enough of the errors and has warned his players to expect changes after back-to-back defeats in the league to Hull City and Everton, conceding six goals along the way.
The Newcastle boss said: “As a team we have shown inconsistencies, especially in our defensive play. Some of the goals we have conceded are not good enough, we will have to do some work on the training ground to sort that out. Mike Williamson came on and he looked a lot stronger and he has a good chance of playing at Cardiff now.”
After seeing his side fail so miserably to deal with Lukaku, Barkley and Kevin Mirallas in the first half, Pardew and his assistant John Carver delivered a number of instructions in the dressing room at the break.
The Newcastle boss, who also brought on Yohan Cabaye at the interval, said: “It was important we reminded the players of the nuts and bolts of the game. There are fundamentals that are needed in a team ethic and we didn't do those.
“We made two changes and it looked like we made 11. We almost won every header in the second half. Everton are a good side, make no mistake.
“It would have been fortuitous if we had got something from that game because first half that was not good enough from us. Second half we showed more pride, passion, we made some forward passes which helped. We almost got something out of it.”
He added: “The Hull game really hurt us. But Everton have not been beaten all year here and have real quality. They are up a level from last year in terms of the threat they have.
“But we still have a good chance of the top ten and we have to make sure we get something from Cardiff.”
After Cabaye had pulled a stunning goal back for Newcastle five minutes after his half-time introduction, Newcastle played with greater conviction both at the back and going forward.
The Frenchman had been struggling with a groin problem so was not risked from the start. Now Pardew, whose side grabbed a late second through Loic Remy to improve the scoreline, is keen to have Cabaye fit for the rest of the season.
“I would start with him if he was right but he was not sure if it would stand up,” said Pardew. “He is such an important player as he showed and I have to make sure he will be fit for however many games we have left.”
Newcastle's travelling supporters chanted 'we want our money back' after seeing the Magpies fall three goals behind – and it could have been more at that point.
Pardew said: “It hurts. I remember them singing when they sung it against Arsenal at 4-0 down. We got 4-4 that day!
“But when the fans are travelling all this way, seeing some of the defending they have seen here ...
“In the end they have seen something to cling on to. They saw a second half performance that also had real quality which will serve us well going forward.”
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