Pardew's Defensive Concern
Toon boss speaks about his team's form ahead of Everton's visit.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has insisted that ‘energy levels’ have been a contributing factor towards his side’s recent results.
The Magpies have shipped 11 goals in two festive fixtures but Pardew is still looking forward to the challenge against Everton on Wednesday evening.
“The important thing is that we will go into the game against Everton on an even keel with regards to energy levels,” he said after watching his team lose 7-3 against Arsenal on Saturday.
“We didn’t have the energy to cope with them in that last 20-minute period. Some of the goals at the end just weren’t good enough for us. No matter who I put on the pitch and whatever energy levels we have, we’ve got to do a little bit better than that.”
After finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, Newcastle have won just five of their opening 20 games this time around and they sit perilously close to the drop zone ahead of Everton’s visit.
“We need to get a result quickly,” Pardew admitted. “I knew it would be difficult, this period, with the number of games and the amount of players unavailable. We had players (against Arsenal) on our bench who really shouldn’t be anywhere near our bench.”
On the plus side, the Toon boss will be able to call upon the services of Mike Williamson for the Everton game. The experienced defender served a one-match suspension at The Emirates. Pardew also hinted that one or two others might be back on parade.
“I hope so,” he said. “I’d like to think that Anita might have a chance on Wednesday and Williamson will be back, who is a natural centre-half.”
Newcastle’s failure to pick up any points from their last two games has been compounded by the fact that they have scored six goals in the process.
“Offensively our players look like they’ve got the bit between their teeth but we need to defend as a team and I’m not going to put it all on our back-four and the goalie,” said Pardew.