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Was Trip To USA A Waste Of Time?
Published : 01 Aug 2011 15:59:40
Alan Pardew has constantly insisted the ridiculous tight schedule of the 10-day USA trip was worth the pain. But even HE must be having doubts after the Leeds Utd disaster. There are positives to come out of every game ... but the performance against Leeds had Toon supporters coming to the conclusion there was only one: "WE CANNOT GET ANY WORSE THAN THIS!" Pardew was on the back foot yesterday and revealed he will be treating tomorrow night’s friendly with Gateshead as a “first-team fixture” following the aftermath of the Elland Road defeat. Pardew was far from happy with United’s 3-2 loss at Leeds and will field some of his first-teamers against the Blue Square Premier side as he looks to fine-tune his team for the visit of Arsenal. Some of the players have already suggested the time spent jetting around America could have been spent in a more constructive manner. Pardew’s side have just one game at St James’ Park before the clash with Arsenal when they take on Serie A outfit Fiorentina this Saturday. Alan Pardew: "The handling error from Fraser Forster wasn't a good start. “When you get a mistake like that for the first goal, it kind of sets the tone, and there were a lot of mistakes from us. “Unfortunately, it’s concentration, and he’s just let his concentration slip there. It’s an embarrassing goal, but he’s a great goalie, and he reacted well to it. “Steven Taylor made uncharacteristic errors at the start of the game, and Jonas was a bit error-strewn. “I can’t really put my finger on that. “We haven’t done a lot of training since the USA. I think the team wasn’t balanced. There were one or two in positions I wanted to look at – I was looking at a couple of things. “Tav found it difficult at left-back. Certain players are uncomfort-able in certain roles, and some are very good in certain roles. “There were positives – Cabaye again showed he has defensive qualities. “He played the sitting role – Cheick’s role. He’s a very good passer, but he showed some good defensive qualities. “Haris came on and did well again, so he’s pushed himself nearer the team. “Sammy Ameobi also came on and affected the game with his pace, so there were some positives. “I think our focus will improve. We were a little bit unfocused, and that’s why we made so many errors.”