Alan Pardew

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Alan Pardew is determined to improve United's "dominance" at set pieces during the 2013/14 campaign, insisting the Magpies' defenders must be in amongst the goals.

Of Newcastle's rearguard stars, only Davide Santon found the back of the net last season - and even that came when he was pushed into a more advanced, midfield role away at Wigan in March.

United last scored from a corner in October 2011 when Demba Ba headed in Jonas Gutierrez's flag kick at Wolves, and Pardew is fully aware that it is a situation which has to be rectified.

"The big fall down has been the centre-backs scoring goals from set plays. We need to have more dominance in that area," he told nufcTV in an end of season review.

"It's all well and good saying that the set play problem is down to tactics, delivery, whatever. Ultimately you need (players of) six-foot four (inches) to go and head it in, or at least make first contact.

"We haven't had that all year and it means all our wins have been one-goal wins, apart from Wigan and Southampton.

"We're not the strongest attacking-wise (from set pieces) and that is an area that we need to look at."

It is not just centre-backs who Pardew expects to be a threat in the final third either, with the boss believing that the likes of Mathieu Debuchy, Santon and Massadio Haidara can all play their part too.

"It's not like we play with our two full-backs to stay at home," he continued.

"They are encouraged to get forward and at times it has cost us in terms of goals conceded.

"They haven't delivered the goals but I think Mathieu Debuchy, in particular, has got a goal in him and I would expect him to get two or three next year.

"From left-back, Davide Santon played most of the season and will definitely contribute more. He's grown as a man - you can tell. Then there's Massadio and we have got better options from full-backs for scoring goals next year."

To watch the second part of Alan Pardew's exclusive nufcTV end of season review, click here