Newcastle V West Ham at St James' Park : Match Preview
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Pardew reflects on tough week
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will head in to his 100th Barclays Premier League match in charge of the Magpies against West Ham after battling through a week he concedes has been one of the most trying of his time in the job.
Pardew watched his side mauled 4-0 at Manchester City on Monday night a matter of hours after Arsenal tabled an unwelcome and "derisory" B#10million offer for star French midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
Pardew has also been unable to make much progress on much-needed reinforcements and now has injury and suspension concerns as he heads into two consecutive home games that could have a significant impact on the trajectory of the club's season.
Pardew said: "It's not been the easiest of weeks. There's been a few agendas in my time as Newcastle manager, but this has certainly been very colourful.
"But it's my hundredth Premier League game in charge of Newcastle this week and I'm very proud of that."
Pardew would not be drawn on the possible inclusion of Cabaye, who was not included against City but may return against West Ham despite rumours of imminent improved bids from both Arsenal and Paris St Germain.
Pardew's latest personnel problems could hardly have come at a worse time with Steven Taylor suspended after his red card at City, Jonas Gutierrez definitely out with a hamstring injury, and Cheick Tiote battling a slight groin problem.
Pardew added: "We need to get a couple of results and pretty quickly I think.
"Two home games give us a new chance after a difficult night on Monday when there were a whole manner of issues going on.
"I have to say on reflection in the first half I think we played very well but they came at us from all angles and unfortunately on the night we couldn't quite cope with it - on another night it might have been easier for us.
"More than anything I feel sorry for our fans, this whole situation of watching their team struggle and get a sending-off and one of the best midfielders in the world not playing - it's hard to take."
Pardew spent part of this week visiting club owner Mike Ashley in the south of France to discuss a strategy for the final week of the transfer window, and knows it is essential he strengthens his squad following the solitary arrival of on-loan Loic Remy so far this summer.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce will treat Saturday's trip to his former club the same as any other Premier League game as he looks to continue his recent fine form against the Magpies.
The 58-year-old had an eight-month spell in charge at St James' Park but was sacked in January 2008 following Mike Ashley's takeover of the club, with Newcastle 11th in the league at the time.
Since then, with both Blackburn and West Ham, Allardyce is unbeaten when he has come up against Newcastle, including a 1-0 win on Tyneside last season with Kevin Nolan scoring the only goal against his former club.
The upcoming fixture would have carried extra significance for Allardyce in the past but now any lingering issues with his departure are forgotten.
"I've been back quite a few times," he said.
"From my point of view, it's always been a very positive result whenever I've gone back. I haven't gone back and been beaten yet, so I want the lads to keep that record up for me if they can. It's a difficult place to go and a difficult place to get points.
"As the years go by any [antipathy] soon diminishes, you look to the future and look to build your career. Thinking about the past is not in my make up, it's not my philosophy to keep going backwards.
"It's always about what's going to happen next, how we're going to build a better future, how we're going to become better as a team and improve the club."
The Hammers started their second successive Premier League campaign with a comfortable 2-0 home win over newly-promoted Cardiff last weekend, whilst Newcastle were well-beaten by Manchester City on Monday evening.
But Allardyce will not allow his players to become over-confident going in to the match on Saturday and will use the example of last season's first away trip as a timely reminder to the squad to keep working hard.
"We all know that we were poor away from home last season, even if Newcastle wasn't one of the venues that we slipped up on away from home last year," he said.
"I'll just remind the lads over the next couple of days that we had a great start last season and then went to Swansea and got beaten 3-0, and that could have been four or five."
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