Alan Pardew calls for improvement at Newcastle

Magpies play lowly QPR this weekend

Alan Pardew wants Newcastle to show they are better than the Barclays Premier League table would suggest when they face QPR at St James' Park tomorrow.

A run of six defeats from seven league games has left the Magpies in 15th place and only two points above the relegation zone.

Boss Pardew said: "Well, you are only as good as where you currently are and we are not very good at the minute in terms of the table so we need to improve.

"A win would go a long way this weekend and we need to just focus on that really. It's silly to look too far ahead.

"We have an important game on Saturday. Our fans are going to be important and we need to make sure we put in a performance like we have in the last four, which have been much, much better without, perhaps, getting the rewards we deserved."

Wigan currently occupy 18th spot and their efforts to climb out of the bottom three have not been helped by an injury crisis that could leave them without eight players for tomorrow's match against Arsenal.

One name certain to be on the teamsheet is goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, who has been a huge hit at the DW Stadium since joining the club, initially on loan, from neighbours Bolton in July 2010.

Tomorrow will be the Oman international's 100th appearance for Wigan in all competitions and manager Roberto Martinez said: "He's been very, very consistent.

"As a character and as a human being in that dressing room he's been an example for anyone that wants to play in the first team. He arrived as a loan player and he became an instant hero - and since then he's been performing at a very good level.

"But we all feel the best of Ali is still to come and I hope we can see that over many years."

Southampton, who are ahead of Wigan on goal difference only but do have a game in hand, host fellow strugglers Sunderland tomorrow.

Injuries have also been on the agenda at St Mary's, with captain Adam Lallana suffering a knee problem earlier this month and manager Nigel Adkins again refused to reveal how long the midfielder might be out.

"Adam is still in his knee brace," said Adkins. "He is progressing well and is now off the crutches. He won't be available for Saturday's game against Sunderland and that is all I need to say."

Second-placed Manchester City will hope to close the gap on their city rivals United, at least for 24 hours, when they meet bottom side Reading tomorrow while fourth-placed Tottenham host Stoke.

Too many draws have seen Everton drop out of the Champions League places and they will be looking for three points at West Ham, in-form Norwich travel to West Brom and Liverpool host Fulham.

On Sunday, leaders Manchester United head to South Wales to meet Swansea while Chelsea face improving Aston Villa.

PA

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own