Pardew says Newcastle must buy to halt slump

 

Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, is preparing himself for a difficult transfer window as he attempts to drag the club out of their recent slump. Wednesday night's 3-2 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion left the Magpies without a win in six Premier League games, with the manager admitting his squad is being tested by injuries and suspensions.

Pardew was unable to call upon central defender Steven Taylor, who is out for the season after surgery to repair his Achilles, and lost full-back Davide Santon to a knee problem, while Yohan Cabaye and Dan Gosling were suspended.

A replacement for Taylor is a must next month – Newcastle have been linked with Ajax's £10m-rated Jan Vertonghen – while the loss of 13-goal striker Demba Ba and key midfielder Cheick Tioté to the African Cup of Nations with Senegal and Ivory Coast respectively will blow another hole in the manager's resources for several weeks.

Pardew was giving nothing away about his targets, but said: "We are having to look at our squad because we are stretched, especially defensively. We have made some calls to try to find out who is available, but it's a difficult window. You want to try to get a good player in a window when teams don't want to lose their good players, so it's not just difficult for us, it's difficult for every team. You locate a player, but then they have got to get a replacement and is another first-team going to let a replacement go? There's a knock-on effect."

Pardew hopes to retain the services of Ba and Tioté until 15 January, but the frontman in particular will be a huge miss when he does go. Ba twice dragged his side back into Wednesday night's game with stunning equalisers to take his tally to 13 goals in his past 12 League outings, but still ended up on the losing side as Paul Scharner snatched victory for the visitors five minutes from time.

Pardew said: "He's a great player, and you are going to miss great players. He is going to the African Cup of Nations and he will probably want to win that. Knowing Demba and the way he is playing, he probably could. He has been absolutely terrific for us."

If Pardew was left frustrated by a fourth defeat in six games heading into the Boxing Day trip to Bolton, he was at least able to comfort himself by the emergence of another genuine first-team player after 19-year-old Slovenian midfielder Haris Vuckic impressed in his first League start for the club.

Vuckic hit the bar before the break and forced a fine late save from Ben Foster. The teenager said: "I'm happy that I got the chance. I think I proved to the gaffer and the fans that I can do it. It was a good evening for me, it's just unfortunate that we couldn't get a good result.

"We had our chances, we just couldn't score. We deserved to draw, minimum, but you know in football, you can play badly and score goals and sometimes, you can play very well and not score. If you want to win games, you have to score goals. We just couldn't do it, so hopefully it will be against Bolton."

Pardew had set his sights on reaching the 30-point mark by New Year's Day which will be achieved with a win at Bolton. He said: "I am sure [Bolton manager] Owen [Coyle] has got other ideas about that, but we have had a fantastic first half of the season."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence