Pardew Not Taking Fulham Lightly
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle United FC
Fulham may be bottom of the table, but Alan Pardew believes United will need to be at their best at Craven Cottage this weekend
By Tom Easterby
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says his side must be wary of Felix Magath's struggling Fulham on Saturday (3pm kick off).
The Magpies, who will be led by assistant boss John Carver in Pardew's enforced absence, travel to London in Barclays Premier League action hoping to put an end to a series of results which has seen United unable to record a win at Craven Cottage during Pardew's reign.
"It's a team that's dear to my heart - it's my father's team - and I've never had much luck there going back with Newcastle, so it might be the best thing that I'm not there this time," joked the boss
"I don't want to make light of it though. It's a big game for Fulham - it really is - and a big game for us, so we're looking to get a victory there if we can."
However, the Toon boss, who will be with his charges at the team hotel prior to beginning his three-game stadium ban, insists his side will not underestimate an outfit who currently lie bottom of the top flight table and four points from safety, and that the collection of three points is far from guaranteed.
"I think that when you've played in the Premier League long enough, you know that that's not the case," he expained.
"We must understand their position. The psychology for them is to win - I don't think a draw, really, is going to be enough for Fulham in this game, so therefore I think it makes for a game that is going to be on a knife edge.
"We've got to make sure that, like at Hull, that we finish very, very strongly and we win the game."
Captain Fabricio Coloccini is likely to return to the first-team fold at Fulham, having missed United's win at Hull because of a family bereavement, although top scorer Loic Remy (calf) and full-back Mathieu Debuchy (groin) are both set to miss out through injury.
Former Newcastle winger Damien Duff will not feature for the hosts against his old club, having been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.