All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Under-fire Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be out of the firing line this weekend with his side out of the FA Cup, and the former Charlton and Southampton boss believes that the break will give his team a much needed rest ahead of their home with Aston Villa next weekend.
“We certainly lacked confidence. We lacked a lot of other things as well. We needed a break in front of goal. The goalkeeper made two or three outstanding saves for Tottenham,” said Pardew.
“The overall performance is what is the concern for me. Not the result, not the fact we have not scored. I will make sure when we play Aston Villa that hopefully that will not be replicated again.”
“At least the break gives us the chance to do some work. I thought one or two lacked confidence in their game. I need to assess that. Whether to give them a break, bring players in but certainly we will be analysing aspects of that game.” added Pardew.
Defender Mike Williamson has also apologised to the Magpies faithful after their performance on Wednesday night was met by a chorus of boos, and vowed to put things right when they face Villa at St. James' Park.
"It might have come across to the fans that there was no heart, and that’s a disappointing thing," he told The Northern Echo. "Sometimes, the fans can be a little bit unfair, but you can't say that over the past few games. They are justified, and we completely understand their anger and upset.”
"But believe me, the players in there are feeling exactly the same. Now, it is all about getting that reaction and making sure we can convey our spirit and fight against Villa, when we've got to bounce back." he added.
Finally, on the transfer front, speculation suggests that Newcastle are prepared to bide their time over Luuk de Jong's future. The Dutch international striker arrived on Tyneside in the January transfer window, and it seems the Magpies can purchase the 23-year-old for £6m at any time – half of what Borussia Monchengladbach paid for him in 2012.
But with no goals for de Jong just yet, it would appear Pardew and Newcastle will take a “wait and see” approach over de Jong before committing themselves to a long-term deal.
image: © mikebrown59