Newcastle manager Alan Pardew ready to unlock team’s potential

POSITIVE ... Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
POSITIVE ... Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

ALAN Pardew’s confident he can unlock the “potential” in his new-look Newcastle United side between now and the end of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur condemned the club to a 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Two goals from Gareth Bale ended a mini-revival, which had seen relegation-threatened Newcastle beat Chelsea and Aston Villa.

United don’t have another Premier League game until fellow strugglers Southampton’s visit to St James’s Park on February 24 – and in the meantime Pardew’s focus is on the club’s two-legged European tie against Metalist Kharkiv.

Pardew’s domestic hand was strengthened by last month’s signings, with one of them – Yoan Gouffran – scoring United’s goal at White Hart Lane.

And he’s upbeat going forward – despite Saturday’s set-back.

“The FA Cup swings in next week, but there’s much to look forward to for our fans,” Pardew told SportMail.

“This team’s certainly got potential. We’ve matched a really good side who are in a Champions League position.

“If you take Man City away, we’ll have a good chance in all of those games.

“Therefore I’m buoyed by the fact we look a balanced side and have more power in the team.

“We looked more threatening, and we need to take that into our next Premier League game, which is Southampton.”

Newcastle’s last game in the Europa League was in early December, when the club’s group stage campaign ended in a 2-0 defeat to Bordeaux, Gouffran’s old club.

Pardew fielded a significantly weakened team at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, but the side which takes on Metalist at St James’s Park on Thursday night will have a different complexion.

However, Gouffran – who is cup-tied – and Mathieu Debuchy won’t be involved.

UEFA rules only allowed the club to register three more players for the competition earlier this month.