ALAN Pardew is determined his Newcastle United side come out fighting after the Wear-Tyne derby – and prove the cups ARE a priority.
Newcastle take on Manchester City at St James’s Park tonight in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup (kick-off 7.45pm).
The game comes three days after a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
United manager Pardew is acutely aware of the anger felt by fans in the wake of the derby and is looking for a performance – and result – on home turf against Manuel Pellegrini’s expensively-assembled side.
“All we can do is try to put our best performance out there and hope our fans respond to that,” Pardew told SportMail. “That’s all we can do.
“The only thing we can change on the night is put in a performance that gets them out of their seats. That’s obviously what we want to do.
“Apart from a few moments against Hull (a 3-2 defeat), I think we’ve been good at home. I think we can take that forward.”
At the inaugural meeting of the Newcastle’s Fans Forum last month, supporters’ representatives were told the Premier League was the “priority” for the club.
The implication was that cups – and silverware – were not a priority.
But Pardew said: “If we could beat City, I think it would get people talking, because then we’d be down to the last eight and it all become a bit serious then.
“I think any Premier team can consider this a tournament they can win.
“For the Champions League clubs maybe it’s a little down on their agenda, but it’s high on our agenda.
“For us this year, it is a priority. We want to win a trophy for our fans.
“If we could get past City, it would be a great way to put away the disappointment of Sunderland. But that’s easier said than done.”
On the post-derby mood, Pardew added: “I think it’s the mood you’d want as a manager. It’s been a quiet training ground. A kind of determined, professional outlook about the next game.”
Meanwhile, City manager Manuel Pellegrini is set to leave out England goalkeeper Joe Hart for the game after his latest error against Chelsea at the weekend. Costel Pantilimon is reportedly set to start between the posts.
Pardew wouldn’t be drawn on Hart’s expected absence, saying: “That’s not important to us.”