Pardew: We are strong enough

Alan Pardew is confident his team is strong enough despite missing out on the attacking player he wanted in the summer.

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Alan Pardew has admitted life as Newcastle manager is far from easy - but is confident his team is strong enough despite missing out on the attacking player he wanted during the summer.

Speaking at his first press conference since the transfer window closed with only loan signing Loic Remy have been added to his squad by director of football Joe Kinnear, Pardew acknowledged that the summer, and in particular the weeks leading up to the transfer deadline, had been testing.

He said: "You don't take it in your stride. I'm not saying it's an easy job, Newcastle manager.

"We haven't got the finances of a big team and therefore, it makes it difficult and a lot of the time, people cling to bad news when there is a lot of good news.

"Hopefully there will be some more good news coming out of it shortly."

Fans dismayed by Mike Ashley's decision to appoint Kinnear in June reacted furiously as the deadline came and went without a single permanent signing having been made despite a series of targets having been identified and deals proposed.

However, Pardew, while admitting he still would have liked another attacking player, has professed himself content with what he has got.

He said: "It's important sometimes to understand that we have a very good team. We invested 30-odd million in the last window, we have brought Remy in.

"We have brought a lot of young players here who I think will, hopefully, blossom. That's why they were brought here. The likes of Sammy Ameobi and Paul Dummett, part of my management is to develop players.

"Having said that, our fans wanted a marquee signing, probably, and that's what we were looking at, somebody that would really threaten the first team.

"But we couldn't get it over the line in terms of what we wanted and unfortunately that's the position we are in.

"But having said all of that, I still think we have got a very, very strong side."

Whether the club's fans would agree is a moot point, and it was perhaps significant that in excess of 4,000 more than the crowd of 46,402 which watched the last league game at St James' Park turned out on Wednesday night for former Magpies keeper Steve Harper's charity game, which marked his 20 years' service to the club.

Pardew, who was among them, said: "It was a humbling experience for me to sit in the stand and watch that all unfold and those great players who have graced this shirt.

"If ever our players needed reminding how strong this club is, it was there for all to see last night."

Newcastle will return to action at Aston Villa on Saturday with Remy vying for a first start after making a cameo appearance as a substitute in the 1-0 victory over Fulham before the international break.

Pardew said: "Since Demba [Ba] left, we have lacked a player to increase our goal threat.

"With all due respect to the players we have, we needed someone to really put the other team on the back foot, and I think Remy does that.

"We have got Papiss [Cisse], Shola [Ameobi] and [Yoan] Gouffran to complement that, and hopefully they all stay fit.

"That is probably the one fault you would say against us in this window. That other offensive player, which unfortunately we didn't secure, would have just protected us a little bit."

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye could also return to the starting line-up after failing to secure a move to Arsenal last month.

Pardew said: "The French national manager [Didier Deschamps] did a good turn for us in not picking Yohan because we have got some really good work into him while he has been here.

"That was important because I don't think he was ready for international football this particular time round.

"But they got great results and we have got great results with him because he's in good shape.

"I'm very, very pleased. He has a duty to the French national team and to us, and he is carrying that duty out with its full responsibility, and that's how it should be."


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