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Newcastle United suffered a second consecutive heavy defeat last weekend as Southampton swept them aside in a 4-0 thrashing just days after Everton clinched a convincing 3-0 win over the Magpies, and manager Alan Pardew wants to see a response from his side against Manchester United this weekend and for the rest of the season.
“We’ve got six games to go, and we’ve got to make sure we give a better account of ourselves than we did,” Pardew said. “That should shock us into doing a performance against Man United that makes it very difficult for them. We’re a lot, lot better than we showed."
Pardew emphasised that there are six games still to play in the Premier League this season, but the club have already started preparations for next season by confirming their participation in the Schalke Cup. The pre-season tournament will feature hosts Schalke, La Liga side Malaga, a yet-to-be-named club and now Newcastle, and Pardew talked up the importance of the tournament.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to play in such an excellent tournament as the Schalke 04 Cup", he said. "We will be facing top-quality opposition and hopefully it will form part of a successful pre-season for us ahead of the 2014/15 season.
Pardew will also have to be busy in the transfer market to turn around a recent slump from his side, which was kicked off by the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain in January. Defensive reinforcements could be high on Pardew's list of priorities, and Toulouse full back Serge Aurier is the latest player to be linked with a move to the North East. Current right back Mathieu Debuchy could leave the club in the summer, which would leave Pardew with a big gap to fill on the right hand side of his defence.