Pardew keen to bury Spurs ghosts
Alan Pardew has revealed he is keen to eradicate the memories of last season's heavy defeat when his Newcastle side travel to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham Hotspur.
Pardew's men lost 5-0 to the home side in what was their heaviest defeat of the season, but surprisingly the club were still able to rally and finish in 5th place. Having spent most of the current season in the bottom half, Pardew is eager to see the club put a run of form together.
"We don't want to be where we are in the league," he told the Evening Chronicle. "It is about momentum and we need to keep it. We had three or four tricky days last year and Tottenham was one of them. We've had a few more this year. There were a lot of things going on - such as Harry Redknapp being linked with England - that caught them on that day. This is a different scenario though and hopefully we're on the up now.
"I envisage it to be as tough a game as we've had all year. You look at our run-in, and you'd have to say Man City is probably our toughest game, and this will be the second toughest, in my opinion. That's where it sits in the games we've got left outside of Europe."
Now faced with a number of selection decisions following the arrival of five first-team players in January, the 51-year old is happy to hold a wealth of defensive options, but is just as pleased to see his former player Jermain Defoe miss the game through injury.
"It was a difficult call at the first game at Villa, because Mapou had just arrived and played games, and I knew he was fit," Pardew said. "Steven Taylor hadn't played a game for four or five months, so that was a tough call for me, so I knew that worked in my favour as I've had two great performances with Mapou breathing down Tayls' and Colo's neck, which is how it should be at this football club.
"You should have that level of competition. There's Mike Williamson as well, of course. Steven has done terrifically, and he needs to take that into Spurs. It's almost like having half a team new, if I'm honest. I've had Jermain as a player. I managed him at West Ham. He's a terrific player, and when a team doesn't have a player like that available, it's a blow. We're pleased that he's not."