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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Pardew: We can't just rely on spirit

Alan Pardew says Newcastle will have to stop relying on their spirit to get them points after they twice came from a goal down to draw at Premier League newcomers Reading.

Pardew, looking ahead to his side's Europa League fixture against Bordeaux, could be without central defender Steven Taylor, who picked up a thigh injury against the Royals.

He said his players had been given a tough time by Brian McDermott's side, telling the Northern Echo: "I actually think we've been defensively solid all season. I think that's the first game where we've really been got at, and I think that was mainly a result of having to take a centre-half off at that time.

"For Perchy [James Perch] to have to go from right-back to centre-half is a difficult move. He just got caught out in a five or six-minute period, but he will be OK [if he has to play there against Bordeaux and the following game, against Manchester United]."

And the manager urged his players to start showing their class in away games, explaining: "I keep saying that we're struggling to get our rhythm in these games.

"We were struggling for long periods, and our spirit has seen us get a point again. We can't keep relying on our spirit. We'll have to play a lot better than that if we're going to get wins, especially away from home."

Meanwhile, defender Mike Williamson has said he believes it is "just a matter of time" before Newcastle gel as a team.

He said the injury problems that have seen captain Fabricio Coloccini, goalkeeper Tim Krul and defender Danny Simpson sidelined had not helped, adding: "Maybe it's just not quite clicking at the moment for some reason.

"I'm sure it will come. We've got a really honest group of lads, and they're all working hard. It's just a matter of time before we start gelling.

"The injuries definitely don't help. We've had to change things around a lot recently, and that's never ideal. It's about using the squad effectively, but you want stability if you can."

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