ALAN Pardew says he is still unsure of his strongest Newcastle United starting XI – despite finding a winning combination.
Newcastle face Hull City at St James’s Park tomorrow looking to make their best start to a season since the 2000/01 campaign.
Pardew’s side have won their last two games – against Aston Villa and Fulham – and lie eighth in the Premier League table.
But Pardew feels his team will evolve further over the coming weeks and months.
And he isn’t yet certain of his strongest starting XI – despite the attacking fluency and defensive solidity shown in the last two games.
“I think this year – more so than when we finished fifth – it’s going to be difficult in the next four or five weeks for our fans to decide what our best team is,” Pardew said.
“There are really close lines this year.
“For example Cheik (Tiote) and (Vurnon) Anita are closer in terms of competition, (Paul) Dummett and (Davide) Santon are, Jonas (Gutierrez) and Sammy (Ameobi) are, and (Yoan) Gouffran, (Loic) Remy and Papiss (Demba Cisse) too
“At the minute, we might be comfortable with the team, but it can evolve still.
“I know it will make for a good debate for our fans in the pub.
“Hopefully, it’s a debate where people can think we can improve the team rather than change things in order for us to get out of trouble.
“That’s how it was last year.
“It was, how we going to get out of this, or how will we score goals? Now it’s about what will get us the win or the draw.”
Pardew had hoped United would sign another striker in the summer to add to his offensive options.
He added: “I’ve said all along one more offensive player would be perfect. We didn’t manage to get that.
“In terms of depth in that area, we’re a little bit light.”