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Feb 18, 2013

Gutierrez delighted with new recruits

Jonas Gutierrez says he was pleased to see Newcastle make significant moves in the January transfer window, believing it to have eased the pressure on the rest of the squad.

• Blog: Cisse's disallowed goals...

With the Magpies struggling for form in the first half of the season, manager Alan Pardew was forced to make a number of new signings during the January transfer window.

And the Argentina international feels the new arrivals have given the squad a new-found momentum, as well as much-needed strength in depth.

"It's really good to have a bigger squad, because that was a problem earlier in the season," he told the club's offical website. "It has been hard for us because we had a lot of injuries but not a lot of players.

"The players who had to play were maybe from the reserves and are young players. They are very talented but it is not fair on them just to be in there as Premier League regulars just yet when they are so young. They should be doing that in a few years.

"Now we have more players and are picking up good results again and that has given everyone a big lift."

Newcastle face a difficult set of fixtures over the next few days as they first travel to the Ukraine to face Metalist Kharkiv in the Europa League before a weekend clash with Southampton in the Premier League.

Enjoying his first Europa League campaign with the club, Gutierrez admits that Newcastle will need to work hard during the second leg in Kharkiv if they are to advance into the next round, after only managing a 0-0 draw the first time around.

"We will have to be fairly clever with the way we approach the second leg," he told the Evening Chronicle. "All of us will have to work out the best way to get behind them so we can create the opportunities to score.

"Thursday is going to be a more difficult game than last week, but we are not afraid of the challenge. There is not much difference between the two sides. Metalist will attack us more in front of their own fans. But we can score over there. We will create chances.

"The most important thing is that we are clever about how we do that. We will attack them, but we must use our heads. Metalist showed at St James' Park that they are a team with goals in them, so we need to look after their offensive players and not allow them space at the back. We all know how difficult it is going to be.

"Metalist are a good team. We saw that they try to play football and I'm sure they will put us under pressure. And we really need to take care of their offensive players, the guys that will try to hurt us. They are really good players who, if you don't take care of them, can cause a lot of problems."

Metalist have a number of South American players in their ranks – something that Gutierrez says makes them a harder team to beat.

"It's funny that Metalist are sort of a South American team," he said. "I know one or two of the Argentine players. They all have good technique, are good on the ball and will look to come at us."

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