Newcastle boss Alan Pardew ramps up pressure on Liverpool


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The Independent Football

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew thinks the pressure is all on Brendan Rodgers and his “vulnerable” Liverpool side ahead of their Barclays Premier League clash at Anfield on Sunday.

Newcastle have not won a league game at Anfield for more than 18 years, when Andy Cole and Rob Lee both scored to earn the Magpies a 2-0 victory back in 1994.

However, Liverpool have struggled to find their feet so far this campaign under the leadership of Rodgers, leaving Pardew confident he can end the Reds' seven-game winning run against the Magpies on Merseyside.

"There's a little bit more pressure at Liverpool because of the stature and the trophies that they've won," Pardew said ahead of the game.

"You have to look at Newcastle and say we haven't won a trophy in so long. You'd have to put them, historically, much higher than us.

"It's a period for Brendan and the team when they're evolving and when they're evolving they're vulnerable.

"Perhaps they are at the moment but they still have some fantastic players. The England captain (Steven Gerrard) and (Luis) Suarez are two of the best players in the Premiership, so we have to make sure we are very much on top of our game."

Pardew has also backed Rodgers to find a solution to Liverpool's sluggish start to the season and has called for him to be given a chance to make his mark at the club.

Liverpool have only won twice this season, against Reading and Norwich, and were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Swansea on Wednesday.

"You have to remember that Brendan Rodgers is someone who was brought in to play a style of football and a vision they believe in," Pardew said.

"They have to give him time and the right tools. In the last window, if I'm honest, I don't think he was given the tools that he needed so I think it was always going to be difficult for him.

"Hopefully he will get to the next window in a good competitive place, as that's what Liverpool want to be, one of the top teams.

"I think for British football it's good that Liverpool have a strong side, like Newcastle. They are two clubs that are very similar at the minute. We're both striving to be a top-six team."

Newcastle are currently 10th in the overall standings, two places above Liverpool.

The Magpies are unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions after a win over West Brom last weekend, victory over Club Brugge in the Europa League and a draw against arch-rivals Sunderland in the Wear-Tyne derby.

Liverpool, on the other hand, have strung together four games without defeat in the Premier League - their longest unbeaten run in 2012.

Newcastle's league position does not match their efforts from the start of the last season, where they found themselves in the top four for extended periods.

However, they are enjoying good form in Europe where they are unbeaten and currently top of Europa League Group D.

"I still think we're two very good sides though and it will be a cracking game," Pardew said.

"Both of us have ambitions, us again to finish in the top six, hopefully the top four, and that's what we're going to stick with.

"I do think we're in a good position. We've done very well in Europe. We've had a good start and we've had some tough games, and we're coming into a period of games now where I think we can do very well.

"So we're nicely poised and now it's about getting two or three wins back to back and suddenly we'll find ourselves in the top six and that's what we want to do."