ALAN Pardew admits injuries are already taking their toll on his Newcastle United squad.
And the club’s manager is keen to make a transfer breakthrough ahead of next Saturday’s season-opener against Arsenal.
Pardew went into this afternoon’s final friendly against Fiorentina without Hatem Ben Arfa, Steve Harper, Shane Ferguson and Danny Guthrie, while transfer-listed Joey Barton wasn’t involved.
He’s confident the events of the past week haven’t hit team spirit too hard, though he’s conscious Newcastle’s players are as keen as the club’s fans to see new arrivals before the season kicks off.
Asked about team spirit, Pardew told SportMail: “I think we need to get one or two things resolved this week to help that.
“If I was (Fabricio) Coloccini, I’d be looking for a good player, or maybe two good players, to walk in the door before we play Arsenal.
“I think the group is a tight group, and they’ll be ready for the campaign, but we must remember where we are. We are where we are – we’re a team that got promoted a year ago.
“We’ve had a good season, but there were times last year when we were on the edge. We need to get players in to make sure we’re stronger than that.
“Hopefully, in the last 10 games of the season we’ll be stronger than where we were last season.”