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Final Friendly Is A 'Real' Test, Says Boss

Written by Newcastle Utd

Alan Pardew is looking forward to Sunday's final friendly against Real Sociedad and so is Daryl Janmaat


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Alan Pardew will give his players a last chance to impress in Sunday's pre-season friendly against Real Sociedad before picking his team for the Barclays Premier League opener against Manchester City seven days later.

The Spanish side - who finished seventh in the Primera Liga last term and have already begun their Europa League qualifying capaign - come to St. James' Park for a 1.30pm kick-off in what is the Magpies' only home warm-up match of the summer. 

Pardew has made seven close season signings so far and has introduced them gradually this pre-season, with only Siem de Jong missing against Huddersfield on Tuesday night.

De Jong is nursing a minor injury, as is Cheick Tiote, and it remains to be seen whether either of them will be fit to face Sociedad. But with the big kick-off looming large, Pardew has admitted that Sunday's game is an opportunity for players to force their way into his starting XI for the visit of City.

"It's about getting ready for the week after," the manager told nufcTV. "I'll still make a lot of substitutions in that game; it's really about building for Sunday week."

One player who will definitely start at the weekend is Daryl Janmaat, who made his first Newcastle appearance at the John Smith's Stadium in midweek having been granted an extended holiday after helping Holland to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

"He's a class player," Pardew said. "He's going to be a great player for us.

"It was nice to get that 60 minutes under his belt. He'll play on Sunday and hopefully be ready if he comes through without an injury."

Janmaat joined his new team-mates in Germany last weekend and trained twice, although he didn't play against Malaga or Schalke 04. 

But he was pleased to make his debut against Huddersfield and is now looking forward to running out at St. James' Park for the first time.

"I think it's a good opponent to play and it's a good test," he said.

"I think if we win this game then we're ready for the first game of the season against City.

"It's good to get minutes and on Sunday I can play more.

"I'm fresh and fit and I'm looking forward to starting the season." 

Tickets are still available for Sunday's game - click here to buy