ALAN Pardew’s convinced Newcastle United can pull away from relegation trouble – if the club signs two more players in this month’s transfer window.
Pardew’s side are perilously close to the Premier League’s bottom three.
And 16th-placed Newcastle could find themselves in the drop zone if they fail to beat fellow strugglers Reading at St James’s Park tomorrow.
United, in desperate need of at least two transfer-window signings, lost out in a bid to sign Loic Remy this week, with the striker opting for a more lucrative offer from Queens Park Rangers.
The club’s failure to yet sign a replacement for leading scorer Demba Ba – who left for Chelsea earlier this month – has frustrated fans.
But Pardew – who has lost Hatem Ben Arfa to injury and Cheik Tiote to the African Cup of Nations – is confident that Newcastle will be stronger by the time the transfer window closes, and ready to climb the table.
“If I can keep what I have now, and hopefully Ben Arfa and Cheik come back, plus get a couple of bodies as well, ask me if we’ll get 40 points – the answer is for sure,” Pardew said.
“We are a lot stronger this week – we have some bodies back. The bench is a lot stronger. It makes me more confident.”
It’s not just about survival for Pardew, who wants to build momentum to take into the following campaign.
“No season can be written off,” he added. “Every season is very important, because it builds momentum and confidence.
“Everton are an example of a team like that. We are where they were last year. They had a great second half to the season last year, and look where they are this season.
“They’ve been injury-free and on a nice run. They’ve had close games, like the one against us recently.
“We were winning those close games last year. We are not too far away now, and we’ve been involved in some tough games.
“But unfortunately, through lack of depth and not having three players on the bench that can affect results, we’ve ended up on the wrong side of some scorelines.”
United’s poor form on the field has heaped pressure on Pardew off the pitch.
“I went on a league coaching course this week and came away knowing how lucky I am,” said Pardew, who faces a battle to hold on to his unsettled captain Fabricio Coloccini.
“To be manager in front of 52,000 fans. It’s a fantastic club – I love it here.
“There’s nobody more determined than me to turn this situation around than myself.
“Hopefully, I can do it with my captain.”