Pardew in search for new 'gems' to compete for higher prizes

 

The Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, admits he will have to try to bring in more "gems" like Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye this summer if his side are to continue to compete with the Premier League's top clubs.

The Magpies are in with a chance of a Champions League spot if they finish the season strongly, lying only five points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham after Sunday's 3-1 win at West Bromwich.

Pardew recruited Ba, scorer of 16 goals this season, and Cabaye last summer and has seen them flourish, but said he could not rest on his laurels. "Is the rebuilding complete? It is never complete, we have to try and move forward," he said. "We are trying to compete with teams that have got twice our budget, twice our wage bill, have huge investment in their teams.

"For us, we've got to try and bridge that gap with sometimes looking a little left-field in terms of the transfer market. Myself and my staff have managed to pull a few gems but you've got to back it up and this summer. We've got to make sure we get it right again, otherwise we will never bridge it [the gap]. It is important we bring in the players that will take us forward. We are making sure we don't miss a Cabaye or a Demba Ba."

 

Pardew believes Newcastle have shown different sides to their game in battling to beat Norwich and outplaying West Bromwich in their past two games. "People say we have won with grit and now flair and you don't amass 50 points by this stage of the season without having all those qualities," Pardew said. "All those little things are important and, when you've got players like we have at the top of the pitch, you are going to score goals."

The only downside of the win at The Hawthorns was the hamstring injury suffered by captain Fabricio Coloccini, who is likely to be ruled out of this weekend's home game against Liverpool. The defender will have a scan today. Coloccini said: "I don't know how bad it is yet. I have a scan on Tuesday. Maybe I will miss the Liverpool game. If it's a little strain, it will be 10 days. I don't want to take a risk. Maybe I will get a worse injury if I take a risk and could be out for three or four weeks."

Coloccini believes Newcastle were back to their best against West Bromwich after a sticky spell. He said: "In the last five or six games we haven't played well, but it was a great victory at West Brom. I think we're getting back to our best."

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