Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle Are So Close to What Pardew Wants

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle Are So Close to What Pardew Wants

Article excerpt

Byline: Neil Cameron Sports Writer

NEWCASTLE United are not quite where Alan Pardew wants them to be.

They are, however, close. Really close. There has been far more good than bad this season from Newcastle's players. Even the most malcontent of supporter would be forced to admit as such.

Pardew even sees similarities between this side and the one which finished fifth. There is, however, one difference.

The team of two seasons ago didn't tend to slip up in games such as tomorrow's home meeting with a Norwich City side who have hardly been pulling up trees.

Beating Chelsea, Tottenham and then losing or drawing against a struggling team is a very Newcastle thing to do. So Pardew would like to buck the trend. Starting with this weekend.

He said: "I'm not the only manager at Newcastle who can say 'we have been here before.' "That season of two years ago, we used to see off these games at home and that's what this team needs to try and replicate. That season, we did not let many games slip out of our hands.

"But even then we had games that got away from us, which can happen in the Premier League. The most important thing is you bring your best games most week and I think we have done that, which is reflected in our points total.

"We need to do that against Norwich and, if we do, we'll find ourselves in a good position.

"We're not quite there (the form of two season ago) yet because we have had hiccups that maybe that team wouldn't have made. The Hull game in particular, and against Sunderland where at the very worse we should have got a draw.

"But we're showing good signs, there is a lot of young players in the team, a lot of energy and really good team spirit.

"We are playing with a smile on our face which is really important at a big club like this. …

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