Newcastle V Aston Villa at Sports Direct Arena : Match Preview

02 September 2012 09:48
Pardew enjoying challenge at Newcastle

Alan Pardew insists the headache of attempting to challenge on four fronts with Newcastle is a "luxury" compared to some of the jobs he has had. The 51-year-old saw the transfer deadline come and go with none of his stars having left despite months of speculation, but with only one senior player, #6.7million Ajax midfielder Vurnon Anita, added to his squad. Friday night's cut-off point passed barely 24 hours after the Magpies had secured their passage to the group stage of the Europa League, a competition which will further stretch Pardew's limited resources. However, despite admitting he will have to pull off a delicate balancing act as the club tries to progress in the Capital One and FA Cups as well as in Europe, and maintain their status as a top-five Barclays Premier League club, the manager is delighted to have been presented with those kind of problems. Asked if that was the toughest challenge of his managerial career to date, Pardew said: "No, trust me. "When you sell a Premier League squad and go into the Championship and don't pull any players in, that's tough. "Nothing that I had at Charlton would match that, I don't think. It was very difficult. "Minus 10 points at Southampton with no team - no, I have been in much bigger problems than this. "This is a luxury in some respects, and I am enjoying it." Newcastle will attempt to end a busy start to the new campaign on a high note by condemning Aston Villa to defeat at St James' Park. The last time the sides met on Tyneside, striker Papiss Cisse announced his arrival in style when, in his first appearance following a #10million January switch from Freiburg, he came off the bench to score the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory on February 5. It proved to be the first of 13 strikes for the Senegal international during the second half of last season, although the 27-year-old heads into the match without a goal in his last five games for the club, a situation Pardew is keen to see him remedy. The manager said: "It was a flat game actually, and he lifted it with that wonder goal, and it underlined his start for us. "It would be great if he gets a goal again because when he is scoring, we do look a different side. "He has had a couple of quiet ones for him, so we are looking for him to be a little bit livelier on Sunday and get a goal." Ryan Taylor is out of the game after suffering a knee injury. The 28-year-old, who was due to have a scan on Friday afternoon, was hurt barely 10 minutes into the 1-0 Europa League qualifier victory over Atromitos, a game which also saw defender James Perch leave the field with a neck problem which is set to sideline him for the Villa game too. They will join midfielder Cheick Tiote (calf) and Shola Ameobi (hamstring) on the casualty list, although Pardew made seven changes for the Atromitos game and is likely to restore his big names to the starting line-up.

Meanwhile, Paul Lambert has warned the crop of young talent he is developing at Aston Villa to stay hungry and motivated and keep their feet firmly on the ground. Lambert is changing the culture at the club and more than half of the first team squad are aged under 25 after his host of summer signings. But the former Norwich boss does not want his charges to "think they have arrived" and wants them to remain focused on football rather than the material rewards available. Lambert said: "Some young players, not all, think if they play two or three Premier League games, they've arrived. "If somebody plays 600 or 500 games, yes, then I might think you have. "That's why I've got great admiration for people like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs because every year they produce and produce and produce, whether they are getting #8 a week or #80,000 a week. "I don't like young players coming in and thinking they've arrived and it's up to me not to stand for that. "If you're driving a Skoda one day and the next day you're driving a Mercedes, that indicates to me there's something really wrong there. "If we can get that hunger in them and they keep it, fine." New striker Jason Bowery is included in the squad after moving from Chesterfield on Friday. Central defender Ciaran Clark is available after being ruled out of the midweek Capital Cup win over Tranmere through suspension after his dismissal against Everton. Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, winger Marc Albrighton and central defender Richard Dunne are still ruled out through injury.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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