Alan Pardew

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Alan Pardew has set his sights on turning performances into points and masterminding Newcastle United to their first away win of the season at Arsenal on Saturday (5.30pm).

The Magpies travel to the capital knowing it has been nearly eight months since their last travelling triumph - at Chelsea in May.

However, recent displays on the road at Stoke, Fulham and Manchester United have offered plenty of encouragement, and Pardew sees no reason why that run cannot be ended against the Gunners.

"Our performances have been terrific over the last four or five games. We have run into a couple of the juggernauts and held up really well," said Newcastle's boss.

"Arsenal have just hit a little bit of form and have won their last three. They are a great club with great players and it will be difficult for us.

"But if we put in the performance we did against Manchester United, then they won't relish seeing us.

"(Our away record) is painful because our fans have been absolutely brilliant, and at Old Trafford on Boxing Day they were in great voice.

"We were ten minutes away from going to celebrate with them, unfortunately that didn't happen and that's been the story of our season away from home.

"So near but so far, and hopefully in the second half of the season we can put that right."

Two players who won't be involved at the Emirates Stadium are centre-back Mike Williamson and in-form midfielder Vurnon Anita.

Williamson picked up his fifth booking of the season on Boxing Day, meaning an immediate one-game ban, while Dutch international Anita was stretchered off during the closing minutes of the defeat at Manchester United.

However, despite initial fears over the seriousness of the injury, Pardew expects a swift return for his midfield general.

"It doesn't look as bad, fortunately," he explained.

"That was the last kick that we didn't want, in terms of the way the game unfolded for us.

"It looks like heavy bruising to his ankle and he definitely won't play at Arsenal, but he may have a chance over the following couple of games.

"I've still got good players though. Bigirimana will have grown from his performance at Manchester United, and Marveaux is a plus for us in that he seems to have finally found his feet here.

"We've got good players and I have no fear about going to Arsenal."