ALAN Pardew is determined that Newcastle United avoid the fate of Sunderland – and book their place in the third round of the Carling Cup.
Pardew’s side take on League One club Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park tomorrow night.
The game is being broadcast live on TV, and Pardew – whose team were knocked out of the FA Cup by lowly Stevenage last season – is mindful of the potential for an upset if his players give anything less than 100 per cent.
And if ever the squad needed a reminder of the pitfalls of cup competitions, it came at the Amex Stadium last night when Brighton piled on the misery for Steve Bruce’s Sunderland.
Pardew is expecting a tough game at Glanford Park, where Newcastle were beaten in during their Championship campaign the season before last.
“It’s a tough place – the crowd will be buoyant,” Pardew said.
“It’ll be what I’d call a proper English game of football, and we can’t get caught out by the passion of the opposition.
“We need to match that, which was something we didn’t do at Stevenage. I was a new manager, and not particularly familiar with the squad, and I was disappointed that day.
“I don’t want to be disappointed on Thursday night.”
Pardew – who will be without Joey Barton, who has badly blistered feet – is ready to rotate his squad.
Sylvain Marveaux, Peter Lovenkrands, Mike Williamson and Haris Vuckic are all pushing for starts, but Pardew is reluctant to make wholesale changes.
It’s a new experience for Marveaux, who said: “I’ve not heard of Scunthorpe, but we have to respect them.
“They’ll be motivated to beat us, and we have to be ready for that.I have experienced upsets in France – it happens. It happened with Rennes once or twice in cup competitions.”
Pardew admitted: “I’m caught between a couple of things.
“Obviously, I want to keep the momentum we’ve gained, and I want to keep a clean sheet, if we can. But I need to see some of the ‘squad’ players, but they’re not squad players – they’re potential first-team players.
“Some of them haven’t had an opportunity, and some could be involved on Sunday (against Fulham) if we get an injury and someone needs to play. They need game time.
“Between that and keeping momentum, I’m somewhere in the middle.”
Meanwhile, Pardew remains confident the club will sign two players before the transfer window closes.
Pardew – who is chasing a striker and a left back – wouldn’t be drawn on Sochaux’s complaint to Uefa over Newcastle’s conduct in their pursuit of striker Modibo Maiga, or his interest in PSV Eindhoven’s Erik Pieters and Lyon’s Aly Cissoko.
However, the Maiga situation could yet lead to a reassessment of club’s former targets, though West Ham United striker Carlton Cole’s wage demands would seem to rule out any move for the 27-year-old.
Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner remains an option, while Marvin Emnes’s early-season form at Middlesbrough hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Pardew said: “It’s always difficult talking about players, but the board know where I am. I want two in before the end of the window, and I think I’ll do that.”
* Newcastle and Arsenal were yesterday fined £30,000 for failing to control its players in their ill-tempered season-opener. Both clubs were last week charged by the FA over a melee which followed a confrontation between Joey Barton and Gervinho in the penalty box.