Pardew keen to follow award with Old Trafford win

The Northern Echo: Manager of the month: Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew Manager of the month: Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew

ALAN PARDEW was named the Barclays Premier League manager of the month yesterday and then he hinted that a Champions League place could be within reach of Newcastle United if they can emerge from Old Trafford with a rare win today.

The Magpies head to Manchester United knowing that a victory there has not been experienced by the visitors since February 1972, but there is a desire within the camp to end such a drought. Newcastle won all four games in November before Wednesday's collapse at Swansea City and Pardew is keen for his players to return to winning ways – even if that means delivering in Manchester.

The Red Devils are 20/1 with some bookmakers to win the Premier League title after the midweek defeat at home to Everton, which left them 12 points behind leaders Arsenal.

But Pardew, whose goalkeeper Tim Krul was also named player of the month yesterday, does not think Newcastle are in any position to take Manchester United lightly and claimed David Moyes is still capable of winning the league in his first season in charge.

The Newcastle manager said: "It's a great job first and foremost being manager of Manchester United and David has represented it with great honour and respect so far but it was obviously going to be difficult for him to follow someone like Sir Alex Ferguson and the aura that the man had.

“He's finding his feet and that's all he's trying to do and I think he's doing a reasonable job.

"Yes, they can win the league. It's a long way back for them but they've proven many times over the years that they're a team who improves as the season goes on.”

But Pardew is keen to put another dent in Moyes' title plans come May by claiming a win which would also strengthen Newcastle's own credentials for qualifying for Europe.

He said: "If you're a betting man you'd have to say Arsenal or Man City in terms of the title, they look the favourites to me, but Man City have been beaten (few times) and Arsenal have been the most consistent team and they will try to keep going through this second third of the season.

“This second third in the league is when we're going to find out who the top teams are who challenge for the top places and the Champions League and Europa League. I'd like to think we could be in there, December is very important as is January.”

Criticism continues to mount on Moyes after his failure to lead Manchester United in to the top four at this stage of the campaign.

Pardew does, though, believe United have the capability and quality to turn things around and make this season a success in the first year after Ferguson.

"That's what comes with the territory there,” said Pardew. “It's great to be at those clubs with all the many assets they have in terms of the squad of that size and quality but you've got to win every game you play and it's a little bit different to the agenda I have here or Roberto Martinez has at Everton. It's tougher. This is tough but in a different way.

"I hope we can capitalise on that pressure. We're going to have to play a lot better than we did at Swansea. Outside the refereeing decisions which contributed to the result, we've got to play a lot better than that.”

Pardew knows a victory would mean breaking a 41-year hoodoo. He said: "It would mean a lot because it would set the tone, to beat Tottenham, Chelsea and then Man U would say a little bit about the team.

“You want to try to tip over the big teams. I've heard the last win there was 1972, but you can't blame me for all of those.

"I don't think there is a psychological barrier. I don't think it has anything to do with it. A lot of the places here are just not aware of that history and it has no impact on them whatsoever.

"Derek Wright (Newcastle physio) might be suffering a little bit, and the fans are too. We have a lot of supporters among our staff and John Carver will be well aware of the record. He's been there a lot more than me so he must take a big share of the blame.”

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