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Premier League

Newcastle 'ahead of the game' in striker search claims Alan Pardew

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew insists they are "ahead of the game" in the quest to sign a frontline striker.

Ever since local hero Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool for £35million late on January transfer deadline day fans have been desperate to see their manager use some of that cash to find an adequate replacement.

Demba Ba was brought in from relegated West Ham on a free transfer but supporters are still awaiting the arrival of the player they expect to be the main centre-forward at the club.

Pardew, currently with the squad on their pre-season tour of the United States, is well aware of that expectation and has moved to reassure Magpies fans.

"After the Andy Carroll thing I am not going to use the word promise, it is a dangerous word," said Pardew, referring to his insistence in December the striker would not be sold only for him to leave the following month.

"However, I am confident we will get a striker in.

"After the Orlando game there were plenty of fans who came out to see us and mentioned on more than one occasion to me 'Where's the striker?' It is not something that is far from my mind.

"Everybody will start making moves shortly. We do not want to miss out - but we have been trying to bring a striker in for a while, we are ahead of the game.

"We know exactly what the market is and we will pitch in when it is right."

Pardew has so far spent just £4.8million this summer, on Lille midfielder Yohan Cabaye, with his other acquisitions - Ba, Bordeaux winger Sylvain Marveaux and Lens midfielder Mehdi Abeid - all free transfers.

Pardew is also hopeful of hanging on to Jose Enrique, who is in the last year of his contract, despite the defender voicing his frustrations at the club on social networking site Twitter.

The Magpies boss insists the matter has been dealt with, with the left-back reportedly fined two weeks' wages, and he is looking forward to seeing the Spaniard in action - starting in tonight's friendly against Columbus Crew.

"We have shaken hands and put it all to bed like grown men should. Now and again we all make mistakes," he told the Evening Chronicle.

"He might not think it is a mistake, but I know I do. That is all in the past now.

"It is not good to put things on Twitter when you are not in a good place emotionally - it does not reflect well on people.

"It is an instant diary. At school you used to write diaries and you would look back and think 'What was I writing?'

"A lot of people will look back at some things they write and be embarrassed.

"They have to learn the media are quickly alerted to these sites and it immediately turns into news and used very negatively.

"They can be used positively too. I am not against freedom of speech or expression, but the players have to be very careful."

Enrique, who has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, wrote on Twitter: "The club is allowing all the major players of the team to go.

"Seriously, do you think it is the fault of the players? Andy [Carroll], Nobby [Kevin Nolan] etc etc.

"This club will never again fight to be among the top six again with this policy."