Alan Pardew

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Alan Pardew is relishing sending out a 'young and energetic' Newcastle United team on Thursday night in the Europa League as Club Brugge come to Tyneside (8.05pm kick-off).

And the boss has revealed that Cheick Tiote will be in his starting line-up in order to maintain his match fitness while serving a domestic three-game suspension.

Tiote was given his marching orders in the Barclays Premier League last weekend at Sunderland and will sit out the next few weeks.

But Pardew plans to use him home and away against Brugge, as well as a handful of youngsters on Thursday at St. James' Park, including Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson.

"We have to respect that Brugge are top of their league," said Pardew.

"We did that with Bordeaux and put a team out that was very strong, I thought. The same will go against Brugge.

"I also think the team on Thursday is a younger team, and I'm looking forward to seeing it. There's a lot of energy in it and we're hoping it's going to cause Brugge a lot of problems.

"Cheick will play and the next (Europa League) game too, of course.

"We need to keep him up to match speed, so the Europa League has been a bit of a lifeline in terms of Cheick, because he cannot play in the next three league games."

One player who will not be part of the Magpies' matchday squad, however, is Xisco.

The Spanish striker made plenty of headlines earlier in the week when he netted a hat-trick for United's Under 21 side against Stoke City.

Pardew admits he has been impressed with Xisco's recent showings both in training and matches, but will not be calling upon him just yet.

"He won't feature, but we are very pleased with him as for the first time since I've been here he's shown some signs of life," explained the boss.

"He came to this football club for a big fee and unfortunately for him that's hung around him.

"He's carried it a little bit, but now with the rise of the strikers that we've got, the pressure's not on him.

"I think some of his confidence is coming back. I'm very pleased he got a hat-trick this week and hopefully he can build on that, but he won't be involved in the squad against Brugge."

Tickets for the Europa League fixture against Brugge are still available. For more information, click here