NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew has not given up hope of having a new signing in his starting XI for the Premier League opener at Manchester City – after Loic Remy was all but ruled out of the fixture.
New loan signing Remy is unlikely to be involved at the Etihad Stadium on August 19 because of a calf problem.
Pardew is keen for the Magpies – which has had a bid accepted by Lyon for Bafetimbi Gomis – to sign another forward.
The Gomis deal, however, is being held up by wranging over agents’ fees and commissions, and Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas has claimed that “some people are trying to derail the deal”.
Newcastle drew 1-1 against Rangers at Ibrox last night, and chances were few and far between for striker Papiss Cisse.
Pardew felt the game underlined the need for another striking reinforcement. “We need more firepower,” Pardew said. “We needed that other option to Papiss.
“Shola (Ameobi) is coming on nicely, and Gouff (Yoan Gouffran) is coming on too. We have a nice little pool there now. Hopefully, we still have another player to come in, maybe two.”
Remy’s injury is a blow. Pardew added: “The problem we have is that he’s got a calf injury. We weren’t under the knowledge that he hadn’t trained for three weeks. So really and truly, he needs a bit of a pre-season.
“We’ll have to cram it in somehow. I think it would be unfair on the other players if he jumped ahead of them if he wasn’t right. He has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.
“I don’t think he will make Manchester City, but he could be in condition enough to make the bench, and certainly make West Ham (on August 24).”
Rangers took a fifth-minute lead thanks to a penalty from Lee McCulloch, after Coloccini felled Nicky Clark.
Newcastle were bright, industrious and competitive for much of the game, which was punctuated by a series of strong and robust challenges, but they struggled to carve out clear-cut chances.
Their best first-half efforts in the half fell to full-backs Mathieu Debuchy and Davide Santon. Debuchy’s fierce volley was blocked by keeper Cammy Bell, then Santon drove in a 25-yarder which the keeper spilled before recovering the ball.
Another chance fell to Papiss Cisse. Jonas Gutierrez crossed, but the chance was awkward, and the striker could not get enough power on his header back towards goal.
The Tynesiders levelled in stoppage time when Sammy Ameobi’s pass which played in brother Shola, who clipped the ball over the advancing Bell for his fourth pre-season strike.
“The pitch was a bit long for our liking,” said Pardew. “It meant we had a slow pass out there. “I didn’t think we were great, but we have really worked the guys hard this week, both on Sunday and Monday.
“We’ve worked as hard as we have all season. We were a little below our levels.”
Pardew added: “We missed so many chances beforehand,” said Pardew.
“It would have been easy for Shola to just snatch at that, but he dinked it nicely. He’s got that cool head.”
The game was punctuated by a series of tough challenges, but Pardew felt his players did not overstep the mark on the field.
Pardew said: “You have to understand that with Rangers, the team isn’t perhaps where they should be. But in terms of us coming to Ibrox it was a big scalp for them still. A lot of the young players were very keen to show that. There were a few tasty things going on, although we handled ourselves well.”
RANGERS: Bell, Foster, McCulloch (Faure 46), Mohsni, Wallace (Hegarty 70), Peralta (Aird 78), Black (Murdoch 55), Macleod (Crawford 46), Law (McAusland 64), Clark, Daly (Little 58). Booked: Peralta 45. Goal: McCulloch 5 pen
NEWCASTLE: Krul (Elliot 46), Debuchy, S Taylor, Coloccini (Yanga-Mbiwa 72), Santon (Dummett 64), Tiote (Anita 72), Cabaye (Gosling 80), Sissoko (Marveaux 64), Ben Arfa (Gouffran 46), Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi 80), Cisse (Shola Ameobi 72). Booked: Sissoko 45. Goal: Shola Ameobi 90+1