x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Newcastle's Pardew eyeing new striker in window

Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, will ask the club's owners to back him in the transfer market during the transfer window to ensure the club consolidate their Premier League status.

Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, will ask the club's owners to back him in the transfer market during the transfer window to ensure the club consolidate their Premier League status.

The humiliating 3-1 FA Cup third round defeat at League Two side Stevenage highlighted the fragility of the Newcastle squad.

"I am not looking excuses but the fact is we suffered some injuries and had two key players in our top striker Andy Carroll and Shoma Ameobi out injured and we were just short up top. We couldn’t retain the ball," said Pardew.

"We have a crucial game against Sunderland next week and fingers crossed we will have one or both of them back for it.

"But the bigger picture is that we need strengthening in those areas.

"I certainly need to get one maybe two new players in during the window and I will be speaking to the board to hopefully get something done."

Tottenham Hotspur’s Robbie Keane and West Ham United’s young forward Freddie Sears are two players who are on Pardew’s wanted list.

But it wasn’t just Newcastle’s forward line that found wanting – throughout the team they were second best to a Stevenage side who are 73 places below them in English football’s professional league pyramid.

Pardew, though, feels Saturday’s defeat was largely down to a stretched squad that had simply run out of gas after their hectic recent schedule.

"While I think we had three or four players who needed to grasp what the situation was all about at Stevenage and stepped up to meet the challenge a lot were running on empty," said Pardew.

"The team looked tired. It was a shadow of the team that beat Wigan and West Ham in the past week. Our energy levels just couldn’t match theirs.

"Full credit to them though. They hadn’t played in the week and took full advantage of that . They were very strong but also played good football.

"For me it was one of the most disappointing defeats I have suffered as a manager. Throughout my career as a player and coach I have never really been on the end of a big Cup shock so it hurts.

"Although we had some key players missing through injury but I basically played the strongest team I could. We wanted a good run.

"I felt this competition was important for us this season, I tried to impress that on the players but not enough of them grasped it. We just didn’t have the quality or the energy levels to cope with the situation which confronted us."

sports@thenational.ae