Newcastle boss challenges players to take the game to Arsenal

Jose Enrique
Jose Enrique

ALAN Pardew’s fed up of being on the back foot at Newcastle United – and he’s challenged his players to take the game to Arsenal tomorrow.

The club’s troubled pre-season has been beset by on and off the field issues.

And Pardew knows fans – who yesterday saw defender Jose Enrique head to Liverpool for a medical ahead of a £6m move to Anfield – are growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of progress in the transfer market.

But the 50-year-old’s confident a replacement for Enrique – and a striker – will soon arrive on Tyneside.

In the meantime, Pardew’s hopeful his side can finally given the club’s long-suffering supporters something to cheer about when Newcastle take on Arsenal at St James’s Park (5.30pm kick-off).

Pardew is likely to hand full Premier Legaue debuts to summer signings Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba, while Gabriel Obertan – who joined this week from Manchester United – is also set to be involved.

However, a late decision will be made on midfielder Joey Barton’s involvement.

“It’s about how we set the tone – the message has to change,” Pardew told SportMail.

“They’re used to bad news and players leaving and this is something we have to correct.

“The only way we can correct it is by success. We’ve secured a few of the players on long-term deals, and we haven’t lost them all.

“We still have (Fabricio) Coloccini and (Cheik) Tiote still, and good young players who can impress our fans.

“(Yohan) Cabaye and (Demba) Ba look ready to rumble. (Sylvain) Marveaux is a bit off the pace because of his injury, but we have (Gabriel) Obertan now.”