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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Pardew: I tried to sign Long

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has admitted he has tried to sign West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long, but expects the Irishman to remain at The Hawthorns.

Last Updated: 30/11/13 at 11:52 Post Comment

Shane Long: Transfer target for Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Shane Long: Transfer target for Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

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Long's future at Albion has been the subject of speculation in recent months with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season and no new contract agreed as yet.

A number of clubs are thought to be monitoring Long's situation, with Hull City coming close to signing him during the summer transfer window before the move collapsed at the final minute.

Pardew comes up against Long on Saturday when West Brom travel to St James' Park and the Magpies boss is well aware of the threat posed by the Republic of Ireland international.

Although he has confirmed he has tried to sign Long in the past, he does not think he will make renewed efforts to land the 26-year-old as he believes he will sign a new deal at The Hawthorns.

"He's a striker I've been interested in," said Pardew. "I've always been aware of him through my Reading connections and a couple of times I have tried to bring him to this football club.

"I think he will get sorted at West Brom.

"He's in really good form. He's a dangerous player, really works hard and he has a flair about his game.

"For us, it is very important we do not let him have an opportunity, particularly our back four dwelling on the ball because he really does work you hard with or without the ball."

Meanwhile, Pardew insists Hatem Ben Arfa still has a big role to play in his side despite finding his first-team chances limited recently.

Ben Arfa has found himself confined to the bench for the last few games and Pardew has been happy with the Frenchman's attitude as he bids to win his place back in the starting XI.

"I think he has shown how good his attitude has been when he came on against Norwich on Saturday," Pardew said. "He changed the emphasis when he came on as a substitute. He made us more dangerous and gave us a bit of pace.

"He changed the fact that Norwich were constantly at us and that helped us get over the line. He is in a great place and he could be significant on Saturday.

"His attitude has come as no surprise to me. I've been with Hatem now since I have been here, three years almost, and I would like to think he respects my decisions. I certainly respect his. I think that helps in his mind.

"He is a character who is going to have a big impact on our season."

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