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Pardew throws down gauntlet

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew wants his side to make a statement of intent when they take on Manchester City in their Premier League opener on Monday night.

Last Updated: 19/08/13 at 19:40 Post Comment

Alan Pardew: Newcastle manager challenges side ahead of Manchester City trip

Alan Pardew: Newcastle manager challenges side ahead of Manchester City trip

The Magpies are 10/1 with Sky Bet to claim a shock victory at the Etihad, live on Sky Sports 1HD, but Pardew is undaunted by the task ahead.

He said: "It's a psychological game for us in terms of putting ourselves in the minds of everybody with a really strong performance and hopefully we'll get some points out of it.

"City have invested heavily again and obviously they will be one of the top contenders for the title, so it is going to be a tough game but it is one we are more than ready for.

"Manuel Pellegrini's style is not too different to Roberto Mancini but I think there is more of an emphasis on being forward-thinking and they will look to put more pressure on us when we have got the ball.

"We need to take care but the ideal scenario is to get a result of some kind and I think we've got the players to do it. We've got some fabulous players and we've got an opportunity, and hopefully we can take it."

Pardew believes his side are better prepared than ever despite a summer break marked by behind-the-scenes upheaval, transfer woe and a high-profile sponsorship dispute.

He added: "There is always that special feeling when the Premier League is kicking off and I think we've worked hard on pre-season and got the group in fantastic condition.

"You can never read too much into pre-season - two years ago we lost to Leeds in our final pre-season game and were all over the place, but we went on to finish fifth.

"What I do know is the guys are fitter than they've ever been under my management and they're ready to go."

You can watch Manchester City take on Newcastle live on Monday Night Football, Sky Sports 1HD 7pm

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