Alan Pardew

By Tom Easterby

Ahead of the trip to Aston Villa this afternoon, Alan Pardew has warned that his side will have to be at their best to overcome a buoyant Aston Villa on their own patch.

Paul Lambert's men saw off the challenge of Stoke City last weekend courtesy of Andreas Weimann's strike and now, with an opening day victory under their belts, the United boss knows that the second city side will be worthy opposition for his new-look team.

"We face a Villa side that just got an away win in the Premier League, and that's golddust, so they'll be feeling fairly confident to turn us over at home," he said.

"We have to make sure that we're a real stiff opposition. They've got some good players, they still carry some great players, Aston Villa, and it'll be a difficult game.

"The expectation on us is a good one at the moment, but we need to deliver, particularly this week when we've got three games. We go to Villa, then the League Cup, then Crystal Palace, and they're big games for us."

Pardew, who has guided the Magpies to two Villa Park victories in the last two seasons, has insisted that his side have been lifted by their performance against Manchester City last week, despite ending up on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline.

Goals, he says, are a priority, having drawn a blank against the champions.

"I think the mood in the city and the mood in the training ground has been the same. There's been the kind of performance that has suggested that we might have some good players here, and we might have a unit that has a good
framework to go and win games," said the manager.

"The process for a football manager is to give flair players a framework to play in. That's what we've got here, now we need our flair players to deliver.

"We didn't score last week, we need to get some goals. I think this team's got goals in it. I think it's got more than one goal a game, last year we were winning games by one goal and I think we can do better than that this year."