ALAN Pardew won’t bring a free agent striker to Newcastle United – despite his side drawning another blank at Loftus Road.
United boss Pardew revealed after last night’s goalless draw against Queens Park Rangers that he won’t strengthen his attack outside the transfer window.
Last season Pardew signed out of contract Shefki Kuqi in the days after Andy Carroll’s January sale to Liverpool.
But despite the club’s failure to sign Carroll’s replacement in the summer window, Pardew will wait until the New Year before making his move, despite the availability of the likes of James McFadden and James Beattie.
Asked if he was looking at the free agents list, Pardew said: “No, we won’t be doing that.
“We have enough, and I think we can’t say that this game was a fair reflection on us.
“Perhaps what is, is that we are fourth in the league – we must be better than that or we wouldn’t be there.”
Pardew played Shola Ameobi and Leon Best up front last night, but the pair were all to often isolated, with central midfielders Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye pinned back for much of the game.
And Pardew felt the lack of opportunities owed more to the overworked and at times overrun midfield than the attack.
“I think you have to control a game to create chances, and you have to say that we didn’t do that,” added Pardew.
“Cheik got caught in possession a few times, and that was unusual for him.
“The midfielders probably had too much work to do, and in hindsight, I should have played another midfielder.”
However, the result still saw United climb to fourth in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s visit to Aston Villa, when they will have former Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given standing between them and a goal.
“It’s another away performance in which we’ve kept a clean sheet, and we go to Villa with confidence,” said Pardew.
“It’s a tough game, and it’ll probably suit us better.”
Newcastle spent long spells on the back foot, especially in the first-half when Shaun Wright-Phillips, on the right side of a three-man attack, created a number of chances.
United had Steven Taylor and his defensive colleague Danny Simpson to thank for goalline clearances from Wright-Phillips and Jay Bothroyd.
Chances at the other end were in short supply, but the clean sheet – Newcastle’s third in four league games – kept the club’s early-season momentum ahead of Saturday’s visit to Aston Villa.
“The first half was very difficult with Wright-Phillips and (Adel) Taarabt changing positions a lot,” Taylor said.
“They caused a few problems, but the main thing was we got to half time without conceding a goal.
“We were under quite a bit of pressure in the first half. Our passing wasn’t there, and there was some sloppiness. It was a tight pitch, and it was difficult to get our passing game going on it.
“At the end of the day we were delighted we got a result and a clean sheet.”
Taylor headed a dinked shot from Wright-Phillips off the line six minutes before the break.
Wright-Phillips beat Fabricio Coloccini to a ball forward, and with Tim Krul stranded, the winger tried his luck.
Taylor said: “It came in quite high, and I thought it was perfect for a striker to put me and the ball in the back of the net.
“You expect to get hit, but I tried to guide it diagonally away from goal. My heart was in my mouth. He’s dinked it perfect, and I was delighted it stayed out.”
Taylor went on: “We didn’t create that much, but we got two banks of four and defended.
“It was difficult with their three midfielders against Cheik (Tiote) and Yohan (Cabaye), but in the second half we stuck at our gameplan.
“Last season, we might have conceded near the end, but the confidence and team spirit throughout the side has got us a result.”
QPR: Kenny, Gabbidon, Traore (Connolly 51), Young, Ferdinand, Derry, Taarabt, Faurlin, Barton, Wright-Phillips (Puncheon 88), Bothroyd (Campbell 80). Subs: Murphy, Hall, Connolly, Buzsaky, Puncheon, Campbell, Smith
Newcastle United: Krul, Coloccini, Simpson, R Taylor, S Taylor, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Tiote, Best (Marveaux 82), Sh Ameobi (Ba 64), Obertan (Sa Ameobi 88). Subs: Elliot, Santon, Guthrie, Marveaux, Lovenkrands, Ba, Sa Ameobi
Ref: Phil Dowd Att: 16,211