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Boss: 'We Will Honour John And Liam'

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Alan Pardew has vowed to have a successful tour of New Zealand, in memory of John Alder and Liam Sweeney

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Alan Pardew has vowed to have a successful tour of New Zealand, in memory of supporters John Alder and Liam Sweeney.

The Newcastle United fans were involved in Thursday's Malaysia Airlines tragedy while on their way to support the Magpies in the Southern Hemisphere.

United will be honouring Alder and Sweeney at both of their warm-up games in New Zealand - starting on Tuesday against Sydney FC.

And as well as wearing black armbands and holding a minute's silence, manager Pardew insists it is important to try and claim victories in their honour.

"It's important we represent ourselves in the right manner, especially after losing John and Liam - our supporters who were travelling out here," he told the press on Monday morning.

"We have to conduct ourselves well on and off the pitch and get some strong results. That is what they would have wanted and that is what we want.

"So in memory of those guys in particular, we want this to be a successful tour.

"We have to honour these guys in the right manner because it does mean a lot to us. Their tragic loss has hurt the group.

"On Tuesday I will be playing a very strong side. That is only right and fair in light of what's happened."

Pardew continued: "None of us would be sitting here without the fans.

"Owners and managers come and go, as do players, but the fans are always there.

"And these two guys in particular, to go to the lengths that they did to get out here, has brought home just how important supporters are to us.

"Sometimes when you lose lives in that manner it puts into context what we do.

"This season we want to give their families something to remember them by, by having a successful season."

Local rivals Sunderland have helped raise more than £20,000 to date in memory of the duo, and Pardew spoke of his admiration for the Black Cats and their fantastic support at this time.

"A lot is made of the rivalry between the two cities, and of course that is there," he said.

"But I would like to thank all the Sunderland fans who have paid tribute and helped raise a staggering amount already.

"I am very proud of Sunderland Football Club for the way they have conducted themselves and I want to thank them."