Luuk de Jong


By Tom Easterby

 

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes there is much more to come from striker Luuk de Jong, ahead of Saturday's trip to Southampton.

The loan recruit from Borussia Monchengladbach endured a difficult spell in Germany before his temporary switch to the Magpies in the January transfer window and is yet to find the net in black and white.

"Luuk is coming from a situation where it's not gone well for him in Germany, and he's finding his feet and finding his confidence," explained Pardew.

"I'm trying to introduce him, trying to give him games where I think he can regain his confidence.

"I think he's had some good displays for us, but I think there's more to come and I hope between now and the end of the year that he shows that to our fans because we know, at this Club, that we need strikers.

"I'm hoping that he can tick a box for us between now and the end of the season."

Pardew insists de Jong will rediscover his best form when his confidence, which was evident during the Dutchman's prolific spell with FC Twente, returns.

"I think it's important that his all round game improves from where he is right now, but that will come with confidence," said the manager.

"I can see him growing every day here. I know he likes the environment that he's found himself in, and players flourish when they start enjoying their football.

"Hopefully he can start doing that again, because he had a tough time in Germany."

Pardew returns to his former club on Saturday, and spoke of his admiration for winger Adam Lallana in the build-up to the Barclays Premier League clash at St. Mary's.

The in-form 25-year-old was part of Pardew's Southampton side which won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Wembley in 2010 and has netted nine league goals so far this term.

"They've got some fantastic young players that have come through, the pick of them being Lallana who has, without doubt, improved since he was with me. He's really knocking on the door for England," enthused his former boss.

"He has a beauty and grace with the ball. He always had massive talent, and he played some fantastic games for me even though he was a lot younger then and inexperienced.

"He has a great mentality for the game."