Premier League has taken notice of us, argues Pardew

First published in Newcastle United News, Match Reports, Fixtures, Results & Tables The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Football/Golf Writer

ALAN PARDEW is ready to bring back his big name players after admitting the rest of the Premier League have sat up and taken notice of Newcastle United.

The Magpies head into tomorrow's visit of managerless Wolverhampton Wanderers on the back of the 5-0 crushing at the hands of Tottenham in their last outing.

And Pardew is keen for Newcastle not to dwell on that disappointment when struggling Wolves head for St James' Park tomorrow, so he is ready to ring the changes.

He is ready to bring Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote straight back in to his starting line-up after respective spells out of the first team picture through suspension and international commitments.

It remains to be seen who will be the players to miss out, with James Perch and Danny Guthrie the likeliest fall-guys. Pardew feels now is not the time for sentiment.

The Newcastle manager said: "The squad have done absolutely brilliant, the guys who have stepped in, but at some point of the season, you have to go with what you think is your best side.

"You have to put aside form and what players have done for you - there is not one player I could look at and say 'he ain't done a job for me'. They have all gone out there and tried 100 per cent, they have been brilliant. But now is the time. I have to make sure we win Saturday."

Pardew hinted Ryan Taylor falls in to his key performers category and he is likely to slot straight back in the team to face Wolves.

The visit of Wolves, who have been unable to replace Mick McCarthy since his sacking last week, will provide Newcastle with a quick opportunity to return to winning ways.

But Pardew thinks every top-flight team is taking Newcastle more seriously now after showing the nous to stay in contention with the Champions League clubs.

"There is a definite kind of 'this is a good side we are playing against, we have to be on it,' when we face teams now," said Pardew. "Spurs were very much there, you could sense that. They came out to show we were a good team and they were going to try to rip into us.

"Other teams who have not got the power of Spurs are going to come and be resilient against us. Wolves will be that and I expect the game after (Sunderland) to be like that. It is a compliment."

After tomorrow's visit of Wolves, Newcastle face Sunderland eight days later, Arsenal on March 10 and then have a third home game in four against Norwich on Sunday, March 18.

Pardew said: "Our home form has been strong, the fans have been brilliant, not made us nervous, they've been on-side every game and that is reflected (with results)."

Newcastle are buoyed by the return from suspension of Cabaye. The French midfielder, impressive since his arrival from Lille last summer, has served a three-match ban handed to him for his clash with Brighton's Adam El-Abd on January 28.

Newcastle, meanwhile, are closing in on signing another French midfielder.

Sources in France claim the Magpies are looking into offering 22-year-old Reims midfielder Romain Amalfitano a contract.

Amalfitano, whose brother plays for Marseille, is an attacking midfielder and available, so Newcastle are considering handing him a pre-contract deal that would see him arrive for nothing at the end of the season.


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