Alan Pardew admits relief over Newcastle United transfer business

Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara, Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran all arrived in January

Alan Pardew is refusing to contemplate what might have been had Newcastle made their big transfer push during the summer.

There was dismay on Tyneside when, despite months spent attempting to thrash out deals for key targets, only one senior player, Vurnon Anita, arrived at St James' Park in the wake of the club's remarkable fifth-place Barclays Premier League finish.

The wisdom or otherwise of that decision - the Magpies, as has become their custom, refused to budge on their valuations of players - was exposed by the injuries and suspensions which left the manager fighting a losing battle to field a competitive team as the club slipped inexorably down the league table.

However, having admitted they had made mistakes, owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias moved to rectify them in January by allowing Pardew to sign Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara, Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran, and the transformation has been significant.

However, asked if he had ever considered how different things could have been, the 51-year-old was philosophical.

Pardew said: "No, I don't really think like that. I don't think there would have been any chance of signing Sissoko, for example, or Mapou in that summer window.

"Debuchy, we know, could have possibly got over the line, but it's difficult to say. At the time, it seemed the right thing."

Preparations are already underway for the next phase of Newcastle's recruitment programme at the end of this season, although that planning is dependent on the club retaining its top flight status.

Three victories in four league games have eased fears of being dragged into the relegation scrap, although Pardew is acutely aware that defeat by Capital One Cup winners Swansea tomorrow could nudge them back towards the developing battle for survival.

He said: "It's that momentum, it changes the outlook of players as well as staff, directors and supporters.

"All our supporters will be looking closely at this game. It's a key game and we have got to make sure we get something out of it, a positive result."

The Magpies will run out at the Liberty Stadium sitting six points clear of the bottom three and having booked a Europa League last 16 clash with big-spending Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala - they play the first leg in Moscow next Thursday evening - as a result of their marked improvement.

But perhaps more importantly, they are once again playing the kind of football which fuelled their return to prominence last season, and that is a source of excitement for their manager.

Pardew said: "We are much more aggressive in our play. We have tried to be aggressive all year, even with teams that perhaps didn't have the quality to play that way.

"We have always played on the front foot, as Manchester United and Arsenal proved, but ultimately, we didn't have enough to win those two games.

"I always enjoy it, but you don't want to have defeats. I don't like any time when we lose and we have had some tough weeks when I was looking at the squad and knew it wasn't good enough, not strong enough.

"It's difficult to go into games like that, so it's been nice this last few weeks to have a strong squad - strong enough - and not only that, but get results on top of that as well because it doesn't always go hand-in-hand.

"Your squad comes together, but it takes a while for it to click into gear. Fortunately, we almost hit the ground running when the new guys arrived."

Pardew will definitely be without injured keeper Tim Krul with Rob Elliot deputising once again, while skipper Fabricio Coloccini is a major doubt after damaging his back during Sunday's 4-2 victory over Southampton.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future