Alan Pardew: “Last year, we coped no problem with having two in midfield.
“We could play two strikers.
“Sometimes we asked one of the strikers to defend the full-back when the opposition had possession.
“The problem is that the fluency of our game comes through the midfield.
“We need to make sure against Swansea that we don’t get bossed in that area.
“I think the concern that the fans have is the same as what I have.
“That’s not something that is lost on me. We controlled games in the second half of last season with much more authority than we are at the minute.
“That’s what we are trying to get. The Europa League’s meant we’ve swapped from system to system. That might be an issue. All those questions, trust me, me and my staff have gone through as much as the fans have.
“Nobody is more frustrated than me. Do you think I wanted to lose to West Ham?
“Last season we coped with three central midfielders with Cheik (Tiote) and (Yohan) Cabaye.
“And quite rightly because they are world-class players.
“This year though, the midfield is an area where we haven’t controlled it.
“We’re having a good look in there.
“We’re constantly looking at it to improve our threat from set plays.
“We need to win the first contact – it’s something we struggle to do.
“It’s important to win the first contact, because it might give you the second goal or third goal in a game to give you breathing space to see out a win.
“I think at the moment all of our wins have been one-goal winning margins.
“We’ve had no breathing space – we’ve had to claw over the line.
“All of those issues are understandable for our fans to be concerned about.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad