Gaffer: "A New Start"
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle United FC
Monday night's trip to Manchester City ended in defeat but Alan Pardew feels that two home games against West Ham and Fulham could kickstart the campaign
By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
Two successive Barclays Premier League home games represent a "new start" for Newcastle after Monday's heavy defeat to Manchester City, according to Alan Pardew.
United were well beaten at the Etihad Stadium in their opening game of the campaign but in truth, few would have expected the Magpies to take anything away from last season's runners-up and one of this term's title favourites.
Saturday's match against West Ham and the visit of Fulham to St. James' Park seven days later, however, are games that Pardew's side will approach in a positive frame of mind.
"I certainly think they're two important games for us, two home games and a new start for us this season after a difficult night on Monday and a whole manner of issues going on," the Newcastle manager said.
"But we certainly hope to put a smile on our fans' faces on Saturday. The most important people are them, that they turn up on Saturday. We need a really positive attitude at the ground for the team.
"Forget about anybody else at this football club: the team needs support because we had a bit of a rough time on Monday night and we need to lift ourselves.
"We want to set our stall out on Saturday and put in a performance where our fans can walk away hoping that we can build on that with new signings. That's the ideal scenario for us."
Last season, West Ham won 1-0 at St. James' thanks to a goal from former Newcastle skipper Kevin Nolan and they began this campaign with a 2-0 victory over Cardiff.
And Pardew - who was in charge at Upton Park between 2003 and 2006 - admitted: "We have a strong team to play on Saturday in West Ham. They're in good shape, they've purchased well and it'll be a difficult game but we hope to get a win.
"They have an experienced manager in Big Sam and they have players who know the division. They have a policy where they buy pretty much rounded individuals and they'll be solid.
"You'd expect to see West Ham between 8th and 14th place. I see nowhere else they will end up if I'm honest."
One of their summer signings was another Magpies old boy, Andy Carroll, who joined from Liverpool after a largely successful loan spell last term.
However, he is set to miss out on Saturday through injury and Pardew said: "It's good news.
"Andy has had mixed fortunes coming back here since he's left, but he's a great character and he'll do well for West Ham. So I hope he gets fit quick - but not quick enough to play on Saturday."
Tickets for Saturday's game against West Ham (kick-off 3pm) are still available and the Matchday Box Office at St. James' Park will be open from 9am until kick-off on the day of the game