St James' Park, Newcastle

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Pardew: Kharkiv will be tough

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew says he is finally content with his squad as he prepares his side to face Metalist Kharkiv in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Last Updated: 14/02/13 at 20:05 Post Comment

Alan Pardew: Squad can cope with Kharkiv test

Alan Pardew: Squad can cope with Kharkiv test

The injury crisis that has plagued St James' Park this season is showing signs of abating while Pardew strengthened his squad in January with the addition of Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara, Yoan Gouffran, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Mathieu Debuchy.

And the Newcastle boss believes his side is beginning to look like the team that finished fifth in the Premier League last season.

He said: "We finished fifth [in the Premier League] last year and I looked at the team, we haven't really had that team to put out at any stage of this competition.

"Even against Bordeaux, I wouldn't say that was my best team, although we played well that night in the home game (a 3-0 win).

"Now I am back to a team that's very similar to the one I had last year in terms of strength and quality - Yohan Cabaye, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Moussa Sissoko - they have strengthened our hand, so for sure we are looking stronger in this competition.

"Hopefully we can get through this tie and if we get through this tie, and hopefully get a couple of favourable Premier League results, suddenly we can really look forward to it.

"But we are obviously going up a level in terms of opposition. No disrespect to Bordeaux, who won our group, but Metalist are a little bit stronger than them and this is a huge test for us."

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Readers' Comments

W

e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

treeman1
Premier League Winners And Losers

S

toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

megabrow (cufc)
Being Defensive About Being Defensive...

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

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