Pardew: "Fill Their Boots!"
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle's players are challenged to fill the boots of Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote, while they are at the Africa Cup of Nations
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
The duo, who have been outstanding over the first half of the season, have departed Tyneside for at least a month while they compete in the Africa Cup of Nations.
United's 15-goal top scorer Ba is expected to lead the line for Senegal, while midfield enforcer Tiote will be representing the Ivory Coast on the international stage.
It means there are two big gaps to fill in the Magpies' line-up, and manager Pardew says history suggests that others will step up to fill their boots.
"It's a case of accepting it and showing people that it's not all about those two," explained the boss.
"It's about the team and what else can come to the fore.
"They haven't featured much recently - Peter's been injured so we are looking forward to seeing him back. But one or two of the others will need to step up to the plate and we are looking forward to seeing them."
Blackburn are the visitors to the Sports Direct Arena this weekend in the FA Cup third round, just three days after Newcastle triumphed over Manchester United.
And Pardew is determined to record back-to-back victories.
"We've got a quick turnaround to Blackburn, and it's my job to make sure we are right for that game," he said.
"We have to be as fresh as we can be and make sure we are focussed on the game, because Blackburn are going to make sure it's not an easy game for us. I expect them to come at us.
"A cup run brings momentum to a football club, and for us we want to continue our momentum so we want to win the game."