Pardew: Key time for Newcastle

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admits his side faces a crucial period which could define their season.

Last Updated: 10/12/12 at 19:25 Post Comment

Alan Pardew: Concerned by absentees

Alan Pardew: Concerned by absentees

Newcastle travel to Fulham on Monday night before a difficult run of fixtures, which includes Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal before the end of the year.

The absence of Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor through injury and the imminent departure of Cheick Tiote to the Africa Cup of Nation, will test the Newcastle squad, who have lost four of their last five Premier League clashes.

And Pardew admits their next five games before the beginning of January could decide whether they challenge for a top-six finish this season or languish in the lower echelons of the league.

Pardew said: "This is a critical period, from now until January. I do feel after January this team is definitely going to be stronger.

"But we are going to lose Cheick, we have obviously lost Cabaye, we have lost Steven Taylor and we have got some big teams coming, big clubs, bigger clubs than us - and there aren't many that are bigger than us.

"It will be a real test in the next two months. We have got to really nail ourselves down and get as many points as we can and see where we are.

"We are not actually too far away from that fifth, sixth place - probably the same as we are from the relegation zone.

"That's where our season is right now."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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