Pardew: We won't repeat mistakes

Alan Pardew insists Newcastle will not allow themselves to be caught out again by the demands of a gruelling season.

Last Updated: 26/04/13 at 14:01 Post Comment

Alan Pardew: Won't be left short next season

Alan Pardew: Won't be left short next season

Alan Pardew has promised that Newcastle will not allow themselves to be caught out again by the demands of a gruelling season.

The Magpies head into Saturday's Premier League clash with Liverpool sitting just six points clear of the relegation zone, with the rigours of a European campaign and a catalogue of injuries having helped to ruin their chances of challenging for a second successive top-five finish.

However, there is also an acknowledgement on Tyneside that they got it wrong last summer when they decided not to strengthen the squad substantially, adding only midfielder Vurnon Anita to the senior pool in the belief that their youngsters would come to the fore this time around.

It was an error the Magpies attempted to address in January when they belatedly invested £26million in Mathieu Debuchy, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran, and it remains to be seen whether or not they are made to pay for their earlier misjudgment.

However, Pardew insists that lessons have been learned.

He said: "I don't think we have shied away from that with the Europa League, that we were short of one or two - two or three players, actually - and it was compounded by injuries.

"Therefore, next year I don't see that scenario happening again at this football club.

"You learn from those mistakes, you have to. That's part of the process of managing a big club.

"This is only our third year back in the Premier League, so you can't say we have been here for 10 years and we have got it all nailed down. We haven't.

"But we will certainly next year be making sure that we have as fully fit a squad as we can, and that the squad is big enough to cope with 38 league games and the two cup competitions that we will be in."

Europe, of course, will not be on Newcastle's agenda next season, and their current focus is simply on ensuring that they remain a Premier League outfit with four games of the campaign left to play.

Last season's irresistible surge up the table is a distant memory and last season's Manager of the Year has found himself in the firing line for the first time with some fans questioning his team selections and tactics, as well as the board's initial reticence in the transfer market.

However, the man who guided the club back into Europe for the first time in five years at the end of last season and took it to within touching distance of the Europa League semi-finals just a few weeks ago remains unbowed.

Nevertheless, he admits his job has been more difficult this time around.

Pardew said: "Of course, yes. For us as a staff, we have actually worked, I would say, 40 per cent harder in terms of trying to solve problems and keep our squad healthy.

"It's been difficult, particularly for our younger players, to come into some of the sides.

"All of that makes it a much harder job to do and on the back of that, your own frustrations and your own disappointments that we have had this season.

"I have to say, a lot of my season has been ruined by injuries, and whether you think that's an excuse or not, I don't care. It's a fact."

There has been better news for Pardew on the injury front this week with playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa closer to full match fitness and Cheick Tiote back after a hamstring problem, and skipper Fabricio Coloccini's return to full training in recent days represents a further boost.

The 31-year-old Argentina international, whose request to leave the club for personal reasons in January caused such consternation, has missed the last seven games after breaking two bones in his back, and the rumour mill slipped into top gear when he was allowed to return briefly to South America.

Asked about his return, Pardew said: "It's very important, his leadership and the way he is as a person. Some of the rubbish that has been spoken about him is so far off the mark, it's an insult to him as a person.

"For me, he is and always will be a great player for this football club."


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