11 September 2014 16:49
Alan Pardew has urged Newcastle United to set the record straight when they face Southampton after losing their last two games at St Mary’s.
Pardew endured a 4-0 hammering at the hands of his former club on the south coast last season after Southampton had also beaten Newcastle 2-0 at home during the previous campaign.
Off-field issues have again hit the headlines at St James’ Park this season, with reports emerging that owner Mike Ashley is planning to sell the club, while Pardew is thought to have two games to save his job after failing to secure a win in the first three Premier League fixtures of the season.
The 53-year-old was sacked by Southampton when they were in League One just over four years ago and is eager to kick-start Newcastle’s season amid reports that he could be shown the door again.
“We are committed to get the best performances out of the squad.” Pardew said.
“We have mainly looked strong this season and need to take that on.
“Southampton away is a fixture that has been hard on us the last couple of years and we need to improve on that.”
The form of Jack Colback has been a positive for Newcastle at the start of the season and the midfielder has recovered from a calf injury which forced him to withdraw from the England squad for their wins against Norway and Switzerland.
Former Sunderland man Colback is now eyeing a first Premier League win of the campaign against a new-look Southampton side.
Colback told Newcastle’s official website: “There has been a lot of change there, with a lot of players going out and players coming in.
“They seem to have adopted the same sort of style they did last year and they keep the ball well and stuff like that.
“It will be a tough test, but we need to go down there and show what we are all about.”
Siem de Jong (thigh) and Rolando Aarons (hamstring) have joined Papiss Cisse, Davide Santon and Ryan Taylor (all knee) on Newcastle’s injury list, but midfielder Cheick Tiote is in contention for his first appearance of the season after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Ronald Koeman masterminded his first Premier League victory since taking over as Southampton manager when West Ham were beaten 3-1 at Upton Park before the international break.
The former Netherlands international will be hoping to follow that up with a maiden home victory and could hand a debut to on-loan defender Toby Alderweireld following his move from Atletico Madrid.
Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster is poised to line up against his former club.