MANAGER Alan Pardew has told his Newcastle United side to make the most of their time with the ball – as they won’t see much of it!
Newcastle take on pass masters Swansea City at St James’s Park tomorrow.
And the home fans, angered by a dismal run of four defeats, are demanding a convincing performance – and a result.
But Pardew does not expect his ninth-placed team to control possession, despite home advantage, against Garry Monk’s side, who are just three points above the Premier League’s relegation zone.
“It’s important we play well, but we’re playing against a team which controls the ball,” Pardew said.
“They have the highest percentage rate of possession of any team in the league – Liverpool, Arsenal, name who you like.
“They’re going to have the ball. That’s what they’re good at.
“Hopefully they won’t hurt us, and when we have it, we’ll hurt them.”
United tightened up last weekend after three heavy defeats, and they were only undone at the Britannia Stadium by a mishit cross from Stoke defender Erik Pieters.
Pardew is now looking for an improvement at the other end of the pitch.
Newcastle have failed to score in 12 of their last 16 games, and have won just once without leading scorer Loic Remy.
“We cannot win games without scoring goals – we have to score,” said Pardew.
“By the same token, we have to make sure we don’t concede.
“One thing we did at Stoke was defend very well.
“We were a bit unlucky with the goal. Part of the plan is coming together.”
Meanwhile, forward Hatem Ben Arfa won’t be involved because of the dead leg he suffered against Stoke.
“He’s struggling with the injury he got on Saturday,” said Pardew.
Pardew also insisted in his pre-match Press conference that Ben Arfa still has a future at the club.