Newcastle V Man City at St James' Park : Match Preview

30 October 2013 05:13
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Pardew eyes cup tonic

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has called on his side to put their derby defeat behind them by embracing the prospect of cup success.

Magpies fans treat every match with Sunderland as if it were a final but the bitter taste of Sunday's 2-1 defeat would be lessened somewhat by an actual shot at silverware.

Pardew saw no reason to play down that possibility on the eve of the Capital One Cup fourth-round clash against Manchester City at St James' Park.

He feels success in the competition represents a realistic goal for the club, who need a pick-me-up after losing bragging rights to the Black Cats.

"The derby was a really demanding game on the legs and on the emotions. We're disappointed for the fans and ourselves," said Pardew.

"But if we could beat Manchester City I think it would get people talking because then we'd be down to the last eight and it all becomes a bit serious then.

"I think any team in the Premier League can consider this a tournament they can win. For the Champions League clubs maybe it's a little down on their agenda but it's high on our agenda.

"For us this year it is a priority. We want to win a trophy for our fans.

"If we could get past Manchester City it would be a great way to put away the disappointment of Sunderland, but that's easier said than done."

With a league match against title hopefuls Chelsea following on Saturday, he plans to freshen up his side against City - and insists those who benefit can win keep their place if they impress.

"We'll be strong (on Wednesday) but we're in a run of three games in six days and we've got to make sure we're at full tilt for the Premier League games.

"I've got three or four players I feel need to come in and play who have a chance of playing against Chelsea.

"It's an opportunity for players really close to the first team to make a stand for Chelsea. That question is in front of me: what team do I play versus Chelsea? I want a few people to give me a problem."

Under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart is expected to sit out for Manchester City.

The England international is under yet more scrutiny after a mix-up between himself and defender Matija Nastasic led to Chelsea's late winner in Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.

It was the latest of a series of errors to have blighted the 26-year-old's performances for club and country over the past year.

It would not be unusual in itself if Hart were to be replaced by Costel Pantilimon for the tie as the Romanian has often been preferred for cup fixtures in the past two seasons.

But given the increased speculation over Hart's position - after previous mistakes against Scotland, Cardiff, Aston Villa and Bayern Munich this season - the match could give him the opportunity to stake a claim for a regular place.

Pantilimon, also 26, has not played in the Premier League since joining City from Timisoara in the summer of 2011 as replacement for Shay Given.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini declined to answer questions specifically relating to Hart after the Chelsea loss and has previously said he is not immune to the axe.

That suggests a good performance against the Magpies could earn Pantilimon the chance to start the Premier League game against Norwich at the Etihad Stadium at the weekend, although that remains to be seen.

Pellegrini is expected to make further changes for what will be the club's fourth away game in the space of 12 days.

Striker Stevan Jovetic, who scored twice against Wigan in round three but has not started since, is likely to get another opportunity.

English trio Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and James Milner are also prime candidates to play.

Exciting Portuguese youngster Marcos Lopes, who shone against Wigan, will not feature after tweeting that he had suffered an injury on the eve of the game.

Captain Vincent Kompany, who has missed the last three games with a groin injury, remains a fitness doubt but midfielder Jack Rodwell could be in contention after his latest hamstring problem.

August deadline day signing Martin Demichelis - the defender who made a belated debut at Chelsea after overcoming a knee injury - could be given another run-out.

Source: PA