ALAN Pardew has challenged Newcastle United side to ease their derby pain by winning at Old Trafford tomorrow.
Pardew’s ninth-placed Magpies face Manchester United, unbeaten in seven league games, tomorrow afternoon, looking to rebuild after a fourth straight derby loss to Sunderland.
“We’ve lost a game we really wanted to win, maybe we’ve tried to hard to win it, and that’s something we need to look at,” said Pardew.
“Against the top teams we’ve done well – we’re ninth in the division.
“We’re not far away from the top. If we get a win – (then) it’s Everton (Sunday) and Burnley (New Year’s Day) at home, and it could put us in a great position,
“So it’s all to play for. I do think this team is stable, it’s a strong middle of the Premier League, and we need to be better than that if we can.
“This January is important. It’s important that big players come back to us – and we do some business.”
Newcastle, however, will face a very different Man United side to the one beaten just over a year ago during a difficult period for then-manager David Moyes
The team, which does not have the distraction of European football, is improving under the hugely-experienced Louis van Gaal.
“You can sense a difference between last year and this year, because there’s security at the club,” said Pardew.
“Last year they didn’t seem that security around David, but they’ve definitely got it this year.
“I think the board have made a statement that Van Gaal’s the man, and he’s made it very clear he’s their man too. Put that together and they’ve got a great base for those great players, those great strikers .
“That’s what he’s trying to. He’s had terrible injuries like ourselves.
“But they’ve got a great chance of Champions League, and that’s what I think they’re really pushing for.”