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Pardew Looking To 'Mouth Watering' Future
Yoan Gouffran and Hatem Ben Arfa on opposite fanks? Alan Pardew cannot wait.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is excited by the prospect of being able to field Gouffran on opposite flanks to Ben Arfa, who is also due to return against Southampton after a three-month hamstring layoff.
Alan Pardew: “You’d like to think with Yoan on one side, Ben Arfa on the other and Moussa Sissoko and (Papiss) Cisse through the middle – blimey, that’s mouth-watering for us.
"I think there’s a possibility Hatem will be back for the next home game.
“You put Cheik Tiote and Sissoko in there and we have got a really, really good side if we can get it out on the pitch.
“Unfortunately this year we haven’t even come close to getting it out there. This is actually the closest I’ve come to putting my strongest side out.
“It does excite me, it really does. I really looked forward to the next game and I’ve not done that all year.
"Some of the teams I’ve had to select from, the squad’s been really shallow but I put a good side out and they gave a good account of themselves.”
“Pressure is a funny thing. For a big club like us there is even more pressure, so we need to make sure we keep that distance to the bottom three.
“We haven’t and then we had to hope the results went our way to keep the pressure off and a good win at Southampton at home would put us in a decent position.
"But we’re a long way from that (being safe) still.
“I actually said to the players at half-time I thought we started the game a little bit over confident. A bit kind-of strolling around thinking ‘We’ve won a couple of games’, you know?
“But once we got that out of the way I thought we played well. We had a nice balance to the team. Sissoko played well, I thought he showed he’s not going to be a flash-in-the-pan.
"He was a real tower of strength for us.
“For us it was a good performance but this is a tough place to come and Gareth Bale, in the mood he’s in, was probably the deciding factor.
“I said prior to the game that if you pick a world XI, there is no doubt in my mind Gareth plays leftmidfield.’’
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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