ALAN Pardew rates Tottenham as the most “fluent” side in the Premier League – but he is confident that Newcastle can come out on top at White Hart Lane tomorrow.
Harry Redknapp’s third-top side have won plaudits for their attacking football this season, and Spurs remain in the Premier League title race with 14 games to play.
But Pardew – whose Newcastle side are eight points behind Tottenham – is not daunted by the fixture (5.30pm kick-off) and is confident that the Magpies can get a result if they get the ball to Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse in dangerous areas.
While Newcastle matched Spurs in many areas in their visit to White Hart Lane last season, they struggled to carve out goalscoring opportunities.
However, Pardew – who insists Newcastle will also have to be tactically astute – feels Ba and Cisse are capable of troubling the home defence.
Asked if Newcastle are ready to go toe-to-toe with Tottenham, Pardew said: “Not with them at home, and the form they’re in.
“With the players they’ve got, we’ve got to be a little bit more tactically aware than perhaps they need to be. They’re a fluent side. Offensively, probably the best in the division. They’ve got a lot of threats.
“But we’ve got Shola, Peter Lovenkrands, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba.
“That’s the strength of ours at the moment. If we don’t offer some threat, and put those in positions where they might get goals, we’ll get beat.”
Spurs’ quality on the flanks told in last season’s fixture, a 2-0 defeat for Newcastle.
Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale were on target, and White Hart Lane will be buoyant after Redknapp was acquitted of tax avoidance charges earlier in the week.
The home support will also voice its support for Redknapp, who is the favourite to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager,
Pardew added: “I still felt we we didn’t threaten them as much as I’d have liked (last season), and I’m hoping we do this time.
“It’s a difficult game for us in terms of what’s happened this week with Harry winning the court case, which would have been a celebration in itself.
“Now, with the England thing coming up for Harry, it’ll make it a bit of a sideshow.
“It’s very, very important that we focus on the game, and focus on our performance.
“When you’re playing against Tottenham, you’ve got to be very focused.”
Defender James Perch aims to give Spurs problems, saying: “It’s a great challenge, but we won’t be in awe of them.
“We’re not going to pay them too much respect – we don’t do that to anybody.
“We’re going to go down there and ruffle a few feathers. We’re just going to go to Tottenham and get a good result, whether that’s a draw or a win. If we do that, we’ll definitely be sitting pretty watching Match of the Day.”