Pardew calls for higher standards
Group D Newcastle Utd v Bordeaux:ALAN PARDEW has instructed his Newcastle United players to raise their game as they prepare for two matches which seem poised to serve as a litmus test of the team’s potential.
Tonight Bordeaux, unbeaten in France’s Ligue 1, visit Tyneside on Europa League duty, and Sunday sees a reversion to the Premier League and the arrival of Manchester United. “They’re significant games in terms of upping our levels,” said Pardew. “We go in with a strong chance of winning both matches, but we need people playing at their maximums. So far we’ve been getting results without being at our best.”
With Bordeaux having beaten Bruges 4-0 in their last group game it will not be easy this evening. “They’re favourites to top the group,” said Pardew. “But our fans will be taking this game seriously and we expect to win it.”
Although Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor are injured, Pardew is likely to field a slightly stronger side than he sent out in early Europa League fixtures against Atromitos and Maritimo. “The only way we can keep people like Yohan Cabaye, who is one of the best players in Europe, Papiss Cisse, Cheik Tiote and Demba Ba here is to bring success to Newcastle,” acknowledged Pardew. “That’s what we are going to try to do. This competition is part of that.”