ALAN Pardew has banished talk of the future at Newcastle United – as he’s struggling to put a team out in the present.
Pardew has admitted the club’s squad needs rebuilding in the summer.
A number of players, including United stalwart Shola Ameobi, will be out of contract, while on-loan forward Loic Remy will return to Queens Park Rangers.
With Newcastle having failed to make a permanent signing in the last two transfer windows, manager Pardew has conservatively conceded there are “one or two” areas he needs to strengthen.
But Joe Kinnear won’t be overseeing the summer’s comings and goings, with the club’s controversial director of football having this week left St James’s Park.
However, Pardew is yet to plot a way forward with under-fire owner Mike Ashley and the club’s hierarchy, as he has his hands full grappling with an injury and suspension crisis that has left him without the likes of Remy, Fabricio Coloccini, Yoan Gouffran and Cheik Tiote.
They were all unavailable for this afternoon’s Premier League game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
“We were in worse situations last year, with a worse points total, and with more pressure on us,” Pardew said.
“We haven’t got that pressure on us.
“Having said that, it’s important to refocus on the here and now.
“I keep hearing talk about the summer, and this and that, and I’m getting questions from the media on how we’re going to go forward.
“But they have to understand I’ve had a tough week this week just getting the team ready for Saturday.
“Am I really thinking too much about transfers and how I am going deal with them in the summer? Of course I haven’t.
“It’s a tough job to try to get 11 players ready for the game.”
Captain Coloccini (knee) and midfielder Tiote (hamstring) might not be fit until the club’s visit to Hull City on March 1, though forward Gouffran should be available for next Wednesday’s home game against Tottenham Hotspur.