NEWCASTLE United are starting to look ahead to the New Year – and the opening of the transfer window.
The Magpies signed nine players in the summer, but the playing staff still looks short in a couple of areas.
And manager Alan Pardew isn’t ruling out further additions to a squad which had been found wanting in the second half of last season after two years of under-investment.
Asked if the coming international break was a time to take stock of what was needed, Pardew said: “Yes, the last window worked for us as we tried to analyse and find a formula.
“We need to assess ourselves again, certainly start looking at January if there’s business we need to do or something we need to keep a close watch on.”
The club is also braced for interest in a number of clubs, notably Cheik Tiote, who Pardew admitted had become “unsettled” in the summer.
Injured Tiote has been ruled out of tomorrow’s game against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, as well as the Ivory Coast’s make-or-break final two African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“We expect Cheik to have another two weeks of recovery,” said Pardew.
“He won’t be travelling internationally, and we are going to have to keep our fingers crossed that he could make QPR (at St James’s Park on November 22).”
Meanwhile, teenager Rolando Aarons made a goalscoring return from a hamstring injury last week.
But the teenager is doubtful for the game against West Brom after picking up a knock.
“He has tremendous potential,” said Pardew.
“He’s a worry for Sunday, because he has got a little knock which we’re concerned about, which would be disappointing for us because his talent is there for all to see in the little cameos and roles he has had.”