Club Focus – Newcastle – Pardew wants wins to end relegation fears

Magpies boss Alan Pardew wants his team to get back on the winning track to prevent a slide into the relegation dogfight. A run of only one win in 10 games is a cause for concern, with Newcastle just four points away from the relegation zone. Three points are needed as soon as possible to bring some confidence to the players and create some breathing space in the bottom half of the table. With 18th placed Wolves next up on the fixture list there is an opportunity to return to winning ways in what is effectively a six-pointer. However, Pardew has a number of issues to contend with. Injury, suspensions and off-the-field distractions are all problems he can do without.

Speaking to the club’s official website Pardew said: “We don’t want to get ourselves in that dogfight with three or four games left to go. So in the next four games we need to get those two results that will see us home.” Two wins from the Magpies’ final eight games should realistically be enough to secure safety. That would put Newcastle on a respectable 42 points and only one side in the history of the Premier League has ever gone down with that total of points. That came back in 2003 when West Ham were relegated under former Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder. Ahead of this Saturday’s crucial game Wolves have suffered a major blow with the news that key player Kevin Doyle could be out for the remainder of the season after getting injured with the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.

If Newcastle can achieve top flight status then it could shape up to be an exciting summer with plenty of ins and outs. Already the newspapers are speculating on where the money from Andy Carroll’s record deal will be going. Lille striker Gervinho has been linked on a number of occasions with a move from France to England. So far this season he has scored 12 goals in 25 starts to propel his side to the top of Ligue 1. The Ivory Coast star was quoted as saying: “Newcastle are a good team. I have been linked to various teams now but I am still under contract at Lille until 2012, so I am not worrying.” With international team mate Cheik Tiote already at St James’ Park he could be a key factor if any deal is made.

Defender James Perch has had his three match ban reduced to just a single game following a successful appeal from the Magpies. The out-of-favour player was sent off in last week’s reserve team match against Manchester United in an off-the-ball scuffle. The Newcastle management felt that the incident was unworthy of a three game ban in a rare successful appeal. Perch will still miss the Wolves game through suspension along with Ryan Taylor and midfielder Tiote.

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