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Boss: 'Red Devils Still Have An Aura'

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Alan Pardew believes that the pressure is on Manchester United as they prepare to host Newcastle - but says Old Trafford is still a difficult place to go

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Newcastle haven't won at Old Trafford in the league since the 1971/72 season but Alan Pardew has insisted that the Magpies can end that run on Saturday - even though he admits that Manchester United's famous stadium still retains an "aura."

The Red Devils are the current Barclays Premier League champions but have struggled for consistency under David Moyes this term and find themselves in ninth place after their midweek defeat to Everton.

Pardew's side also lost on Wednesday - their first reverse in five matches - and the black and white boss knows that both teams will be determined to bounce back this weekend.

"I think there'll be a reaction from Man United to their defeat and likewise from us so it'll make for a game which is quite pressurised," he said.

"Therefore we need to have calm heads in that game - and hopefully we can retain the ball better than we did at Swansea.

"They (Manchester United) had gone 12 games unbeaten up until that game so it's not like there's a crisis there.

"They've lost a game, which anybody can do in the Premiership at the moment, and their reaction is going to be a little bit larger than ours so I think there's a bit of pressure on them.

"We've got to try and capitalise on that and make it difficult for them; if we can do that and get in the last period of the game we could try and reverse a statistic that isn't very good of Newcastle winning at Man United."

Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse should both be available for the Magpies after recovering from illness and injury respectively, but Manchester United are missing one of their key players.

Wayne Rooney is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season, but Pardew knows that the Red Devils are well-equipped to manage without their talisman.

"Swansea didn't have their two main strikers and I don't think they could have played any better with them," he pointed out.

"So it can not work in your favour a little bit. But he is in terrific form, which is great news for Man United and England, and for us, not to play slightly helps us.

"I think it's very difficult to predict their starting line-up but they'll play the same way, with a second striker who can link the play. That second striker could be (Marouane) Fellaini or a number of players but we've got a good idea of how they play and I think they're pretty sure about how we play too.

And Pardew added: "I think it's still a very daunting place to go. There's an aura about it, it's a great stadium to go and play and be lucky enough to be the manager to take a team there.

"It's still a very difficult place to win and we've got to raise our game to a new level to win there - but we're capable of doing that.

"It's a big profile game and with the way the Premier League is, probably half the world will be watching

"If I was a player, you'd want to play well. The most important thing is that the team functions well. Really and truly, in the last five games just that one half, really, against Swansea is the only time we've let ourselves down.

"Hopefully at Man United we can give a more solid display in terms of 90 minutes."