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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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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