LOIC Remy is ready to blast Newcastle United towards the European places, according to manager Alan Pardew.
The forward was a revelation in the first few months of the season scoring eight goals in his first 12 appearances for the Tynesiders.
But the France international, on a season-long loan from QPR, had scored just twice in 10 matches ahead of last weekend’s visit to Upton Park.
The 27-year-old’s goal in the 3-1 win at West Ham delighted Pardew, who said of the Magpies’ 11-goal leading scorer: “Loic was looking more of a threat.
“He had three or four great chances, which he created for himself.”
Remy and his team-mates returned to England today from their warm-weather training in Abu Dhabi ahead of their next match – Tuesday’s Premier League game at Norwich City.
The visit to Carrow Road is followed by next Saturday’s Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland.
And Pardew feels Remy can help eighth-placed Newcastle push up the league between now and the end of the season.
“He played well, and that bodes well going forward,” added Pardew, who is hopeful that United can secure Remy on a permanent deal in the summer.
However, there are many obstacles between Newcastle and Remy’s signature.
His Loftus Road salary would break Newcastle’s strict wage structure, while QPR owner Tony Fernandes has suggested that the London club would look to keep him if they win promotion back to the top flight.
Pardew himself has admitted the situation is “complicated”.
For his part, Remy has insisted he will not assess his options until the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Pardew hopes that England coach Roy Hodgson will have noted the performances of central defenders Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor at Upton Park.
Hodgson was at the game to take a look at fit-again former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, who came off the bench for West Ham and squandered a chance to equalise.
Hodgson’s defensive options have come under scrutiny with the England careers of previous stalwarts John Terry and Rio Ferdinand now behind them. And Pardew feels Hodgson should take a close look at both Williamson, 30, and Taylor, who is hoping to his injury problems are now behind him.
“Steven and Willo, our centre halves, both played very well,” Pardew said. “I’m sure he (Hodgson) will have noted that.
“They were brilliant second half. The two centre halves stood up to a real onslaught. That bodes well, as Norwich and Sunderland will be two tough games.”