Pardew relishes Newcastle's 'top of the table' encounter

 

Just a glance at the football form table for 2012 shows why Sir Alex Ferguson has not given up hope of taking a 13th Premier League title with Manchester United.

The resurgence of Newcastle, with seven wins from their last eight games, has yielded them only three points less than the tally of Manchester City, their opponents in tomorrow's crucial match, since the turn of the year: 35 to City's 38.

If Ferguson understands the significance of that, the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew revels in it. Newcastle were unbeaten when they went to the Etihad in November and lost 3-1. Then, as Pardew admitted yesterday, there was a lack of belief in his players that they could stand toe to toe with such a big club. That is certainly no longer the case.

"Forget about individuals, look at the two teams – our team is going to compete with them. I can't pay any greater respect to my side," said Pardew. "They deserve that respect because they have earned it. That's not about me, or Papiss Cissé, but the team. We have got 35 points this year, City have got 38. We have the advantage [tomorrow] because we are at home, and our fans make a huge difference to us.

"I would say we have closed that gap [on City], even though in November we were up-beat. Looking from the sidelines then I still felt there was an extra element to their game. Looking at us against Chelsea and Liverpool, I think we have closed that gap.

"This club has come on in leaps and bounds in the last two years. It has been a meteoric rise in form and credibility. We have created a situation where next year is going to be problematic for us. We need to make sure, when this season ends, [to work out] where we went wrong and where we went right. We have to correct the bad things and recognise the good ones, and keep doing them to improve because next year will be a difficult season for us.

"I look at it closely and we have taken points off Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, and Manchester United. Man City are the only ones we have not. Now, if you look at that, you would have to say, maybe they can, looking at that record. We haven't yet. So on Sunday it is there for us to take points off all the top teams and that would be a great feat for this team. And I think we can do it.

"I would suggest there is a little bit more pressure on them, being as they are away from home and going for the title."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home