Alan Pardew

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Liverpool were the opponents at St. James' Park for Alan Pardew's first match in charge of Newcastle United and a 3-1 win proved vital in getting the home fans onside following the shock departure of Chris Hughton.

But Pardew believes Saturday's game against the Reds is even bigger than that afternoon in December 2010, when Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll were on target to get the Magpies manager off to the best possible start.

Despite last weekend's 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion, United are still involved in a fight against relegation but three points against the Reds would ease any lingering fears.

It's a far cry from April 2012, when a 2-0 win over the Merseysiders kept Pardew's side in sixth place and the boss said: "We've had good games against Liverpool - all the games that we've played, we've played well and we've had two strong results here recently.

"But this is probably more important than those games and there's probably a little extra pressure on us. We need to be able to deal with that.

"I do sense in the group a real determination now just to get us over the line and then we'll be well set.

"We all know in that dressing room that if we've got everyone available, we've got a decent side."

Liverpool will be without Luis Suarez, who starts a ban for his bite on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last weekend.

The 30-goal Uruguayan is shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award but while Pardew accepts that Brendan Rodgers' side will miss their star man, he knows that they have plenty of other players who can hurt Newcastle.

"He's a fantastic player and he's had a marvellous season and it's unfortunate that events are going to probably scar his season because it has been outstanding," Pardew said.

"For us, he doesn't play and I suppose that is helpful but I'm sure it will only infuse Liverpool's players to show that they can play without him."

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