By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew believes Newcastle will need to be at their very best to stand a chance of beating reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday - but insists the home fans can give them the edge.
City lost to Manchester United last weekend and currently trail their rivals by six points at the top of the table but Roberto Mancini's men beat the Magpies home and away last season - the only team to do so.
However Pardew's side have lost five of their last six league games, but did pick up three points against Wigan in their last outing at St. James' Park and the manager is hoping for a repeat performance.
"It's always been a tough place to come," he said. "It's not been the fortress that it was last year but we've still put in some strong performances at home and we're going to need to do that against Manchester City.
"We got nothing off them last year and I don't think they're as strong as they were last year coming into this game so we've got to try and get a result.
"They've got one win in six so they're keen to get a result and so are we, so I think it's going to make for an edgy game on both sides.
"Theyll be focussed on this game but when you're the champions of the Premier League it's a difficult game full stop. They've got great players and we're going to have to be at our maximum - and probably have a little bit of luck - to win."
And Pardew called on the fans to help play their part in handing United the initiative, with a sell-out crowd expected at Gallowgate despite the Magpies' recent run.
"Our fans are important to us now because our results and stats don't look good, but this is the time we really need them to support us," he said.
"We're having a rough run, we don't disguise that, but I think the work ethic is there and one big result - which could happen this weekend - could change a lot of the picture and we might find ourselves in a good position in the league.
"But obviously we've got to win the game first and that's what we intend to do."
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