ALAN Pardew is asking Newcastle United fans to judge his team after the next two games.
The Magpies suffered an demoralising 4-0 defeat to Manchester City in Monday night’s Premier League opener, adding to the dismay of a fanbase which was already unhappy at Newcastle’s lack of summer spending.
Manager Pardew – whose tactics came under close scrutiny during last season’s relegation battle – came under more fire.
However, he has pleaded with supporters to reserve judgement until after the coming home games against West Ham and Fulham on the next two weekends.
“Really and truly it is about the next 37 games – particularly the two at home,” Pardew said. “We need points on the board. It’ll be a better measure for us after West Ham and Fulham. Judge us after that.”
Only forward Hatem Ben Arfa threatened City at the Etihad Stadium, and Pardew will not have Loic Remy, the club’s only summer signing so far, available against the Hammers, while defender Steven Taylor misses out through suspension and midfielder Jonas Gutierrez is out following a recurrence of a leg injury against City.
However, Pardew feels his team will offer more of a threat going forward against Sam Allardyce’s West Ham.
“Going forward, we would be better judged after the next two games,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pardew was in France on Tuesday on club business with director of football Joe Kinnear, chief scout Graham Carr and secretary Lee Charnley.
Kinnear is attempting to sign the “one or two” players Pardew feels will complete his squad.
Pardew’s top summer target is a striker, though the club could also be left needing to sign a central midfielder should Arsenal target Yohan Cabaye left before the end of the transfer window. Cabaye is also wanted by Paris Saint-Germain.
H Newcastle midfielder Haris Vuckic is training with Bradford City with a view to joining the League One club on loan.
Pardew feels Vuckic – whose career has been beset by injury problems over the past three years – needs games under his belt before he can challenge for a first-team place on Tyneside.
The 21-year-old, who missed the bulk of last season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury, is understood to have played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Accrington Stanley this week.