ALAN Pardew hopes that his weary Newcastle players can pick themselves up and take the game to Chelsea – after putting their feet up.
Pardew’s side lost 2-0 to Manchester City after extra time in the Capital One Cup last night, and it gets no easier on Saturday, with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea visiting St James’s Park in the Premier League.
Pardew admitted that his squad will not be doing any work on the training pitch ahead of the game, given the toll that Sunday’s derby and the 120 minutes against City has taken on his players.
“We’re in a tough run of games,” Pardew said.
“They were tough opponents. From where I was standing, there was a real physical presence about them.
“We’re feeling that in the dressing room. There were a lot of bruised bodies and tired legs.
“We’ve got a quick turnaround. It’s got to be feet up for us.
“We’ve got to hope we get the breaks against Chelsea. If we play like that every week, we’ll be OK.
“If can hit the levels we hit (against City), we’ve got a chance against Chelsea.”
Pardew – who is adamant cup success is a priority for him – was grateful for the backing his team got at St James’s Park given what had happened at the Stadium of Light.
“It’s galling to go out because of the performance levels of not just the team, but the fans as well,” he said.
“They didn’t give us a hard time about Sunderland. I appreciated that.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get a victory for them. They came to support the team and we responded to that. We couldn’t have done any more in terms of effort.”
Meanwhile, defenders Massadio Haidara and Paul Dummett – both taken off injured against City – were today being assessed ahead of the Chelsea game.