Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Vows to Keep Balance of His Squad

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pardew Vows to Keep Balance of His Squad

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

Newcastle United 1 Queens Park Rangers 0 ALAN Pardew has promised not to upset the balance of his squad after a win inspired by the survivors of last summer's overhaul.

Leon Best scored the only goal as Queens Park Rangers started life under new manager Mark Hughes with a 1-0 defeat.

An away win looked the most likely outcome until an injury to summer signing Yohan Cabaye left Newcastle United with a team including 10 of last season's squad.

That did not escape Pardew, hoping to buy James Tomkins, Ravel Morrison and Mevlut Erdinc this month.

"A lot of these players did the job for us at the back end of last season," he stressed.

(Danny) Guthrie's come away as the man of the match and Best's got the goal and that will give us confidence going forward.

"There's money available to me and I think we'll take a player if we think they will work for us, financially and for the team. I've got a really tight bunch here, we've got (Hatem) Ben Arfa coming alive, making little cameos and getting stronger. His work-rate was terrific, and (his play) defensively.

"We find ourselves sixth above Liverpool after 21 games and not (only) because of what happened yesterday. It's about the next period of games. If we can get a couple of wins before the lads come back from the African (Cup of) Nations, we'll get a huge boost." Senegal's Demba Ba and Ivorian Cheick Tiote could be missing until mid-February. Only on their return will Pardew feel ready to set his team a target for the run-in. "That question will be better answered when we get through this period without two great players, because Cheick and Ba are great players," he said. "We've overcome two hurdles since they've been away - Blackburn, which was a tough game we won and we won again yesterday, so so far flying colours. …

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