ALAN Pardew believes Newcastle United’s next three games will have a huge bearing on their Premier League campaign.
Sixth-placed Newcastle, chasing a Europa League place, take on West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns tomorrow.
The fixture is followed by games against Liverpool and Swansea City.
And Pardew believes if his team can come through those matches unscathed, and with at least one victory, they will have taken three more big strides towards a return to European competition.
“We’re talking about being in there with Chelsea and Liverpool with nine games to go rather than Sunderland, Norwich, Aston Villa or whoever,” Pardew said.
“But we’re still at a delicate part of the season – these next three games are key. I’ve said all year that if we get to the last six and we have something to go for, we’re going to be dangerous.
“We have to get these three games out the way, and get at least a win or maybe two, to get us into those last six games on a high.”
However, Pardew could be without Cheik Tiote (hamstring) at The Hawthorns, while Danny Simpson is also struggling. Ryan Taylor (calf) won’t be involved.
“I won’t risk him – 100 per cent,” said Pardew. “No way will I risk him. He’s as important a player as we have here. I have made that very, very clear in my team selection.
“If he’s fit, he plays, but it’s a hamstring problem so we have to be careful.”
Newcastle have been linked with a move for Reims midfielder Romain Amalfitano in the summer.
“I think it’s important now that we bring in the players that are going to take us forward, and we have plans to do that,” said Pardew.