THE cavalry has arrived at Newcastle United – and not before time.
And manager Alan Pardew’s confident that his squad now has the strength in depth to start putting more points on the board.
The club signed four players – Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara – last week.
And all are in Pardew’s squad for tonight’s game at Villa Park.
Newcastle’s search for reinforcements was given an added urgency by a run of form which has left it teetering above the Premier League’s relegation zone.
The arrivals buoyed supporters still reeling from the club’s 2-1 home defeat to Reading.
The acquisitions have also heartened Pardew’s senior players, and their experience will give United a welcome shot in the arm ahead of a game against a youthful and inexperienced Aston Villa team, according to the Toon boss..
“It’s a more significant change here (in the dressing room), because I think if you’re one of our big players, you want a confidence that you’ve got support around you,” Pardew told SportMail.
“Our players will look around that dressing room and know that this team is definitely stronger – physically and mentally – and that we’re in a very much better place than we were.
“Derek Llambias and Mike (Ashley), the owner, have done a terrific job in getting those four over the line.”
Long-serving Shola Ameobi is a veteran of United’s last relegation – the club’s fate was confirmed at Villa Park in May 2009 – and the striker believes Newcastle’s class of 2013 are mentally strong enough to cope with the pressures of life at the wrong end of the division.
The players were booed off after the Reading game by frustrated fans.
“Every week is massive now – let’s not beat about the bush,” said Ameobi. “It’s a test of character.
“I’ve been through it before – it’s something that’s recent in our minds.
“We have to make sure we’re strong enough to cope with those pressures.
“I spoke to the players after the (Reading) game. I said ‘this is what it’s like – it’s Newcastle United’.
“There are a lot of players who haven’t been able to handle that over the years, but we’ve got characters in that dressing room. Hopefully, the boys can stand that test.”