Alan Pardew has admitted that his preparation for Newcastle’s opener against Tottenham has been something of a guessing game.
Reported in the Independent,
“They are a little bit different to last year because their style is slightly different, and obviously in terms of personnel. It is a bit of a mystery really what the team is going to be, so we are kind of guessing what we think it is and we’ll work towards that.”
The Magpies were something of an unknown quantity themselves last season, after only being promoted the year before, they found themselves challenging for a Champions League place only to miss out in the final weeks – settling instead for a Europa League spot. Pardew once again wants to be pushing those top four places, he added:
“Without a doubt, I can tell you now that the Premier League is going to come first for sure, and we want to try to push from where we were last year, push those Champions League teams. We were the closest to them and we are going to narrow that gap if we can.”
Doubts were raised after the last campaign as to whether the Tyneside team could challenge the top four again, with speculation growing that their top players would move on to some of Europe’s elite.
However, they have managed to keep hold of their star players and add strength and depth to their already challenging squad.
Newcastle play two of the top four contenders in their first two games, starting at home to Tottenham before traveling to the home of the European Champions, Chelsea next weekend.
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