ALAN Pardew’s challenged his Newcastle United side to build on the club’s win at Villa Park – and heap more pressure on Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle take on Chelsea at St James’s Park tomorrow buoyed by Tuesday night’s 2-1 success over Aston Villa.
The result – United’s first away win in eight months – saw United move four points clear of the Premier League.
And Pardew’s looking for his team, reinvigorated by a clutch of new signings, to build some momentum over the coming weeks and climb the table.
Midfielder Sylvain Marveaux – who had been pencilled in to start at Villa – will be available after quickly recovering from a foot problem.
However, Pardew could field an unchanged side against Chelsea, who have struggled for form under Benitez, and were held to a 2-2 draw at Reading in midweek.
“We have to build on Villa now – that one’s done,” Pardew said.
“We have to move to the next one. We must be just as good.
“Marveaux was unfortunate to get injured just before the game because he would have started the game.
“But the team did so well, it means I have a decision to make. The team will be pretty much as it was.”
Pardew’s side were booed off the field in the club’s last home game – a 2-1 defeat to his former club Reading – and supporters chanted ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ after he took off Yohan Cabaye.
And Pardew’s conscious that Newcastle need to “put a good show on” in front of their own supporters, whose patience has been tested all too often at home this season.
“The last home game was a tough game for the squad, and for me in particular,” added Pardew.
“It was uncomfortable. I didn’t want to lose to my old team – they’re the last team I want to lose to. Or to have my substitutes booed.
“I’m conscious that we need to put a good show on. The boys are determined to show that we have great quality.”