Alan Pardew

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


It may be classed as an 'international break' but there has been no rest for Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew as he bids to get his side back to winning ways next Sunday.

Defeat against Manchester United last weekend left the Magpies with nine points from their opening seven Premier League games - a decent return having already faced the Red Devils, Chelsea and Tottenham among others.

There was no fixture this weekend due to World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, but in seven days' time Newcastle will be back in action, making the short trip to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland - one of the biggest games of their season.

And while Pardew could well have spent the last few days mulling over the opening two months of the new campaign, he insists that all focus has instead been on the Tyne-Wear derby.

"It's not about reflection," said the boss, who has been without international stars Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye this week.

"It's about making sure we're right for Sunderland, because that's going to be a tough game - they're better this year.

"We're going to have to roll our sleeves up and put in a proper performance for our fans and for ourselves, because we need to get a win on the board."