All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew said yesterday that he is looking for a response from his side having lost their last two games 3-0 and 4-0 to Everton and Southampton respectively, but today admitted that the Magpies' season is petering out as the end of the season draws ever closer.
“The mid-season was really strong for us and the injuries to Loic and the transfer of Cabaye have impacted on our quality, there’s no doubt about that. We are grinding towards the end unfortunately, and that’s not what we want. We want to be a lot more easy on the eye, and lot more fluent in what we are doing than we are," Pardew added.
He continued; “But we have become a very functional team now, and that’s what has really got to get us through until such time as Loic is back and Mathieu is back and Tim is back.”
Pardew pointed to some injuries as an explanation for Newcastle's poor form of late, and his cause hasn't been helped by the new that midfielder Moussa Sissoko has suffered a hamstring strain which will rule him out of action for close to a month - and has subsequently put the former Toulouse man's World Cup place in jeopardy.
"Sissoko has a hamstring strain and we think it is going to two to three weeks. He has been a terrific player for us and been excellent this season. He was finding his feet last season and was playing well for us. It is a shame he won’ t complete all the games," Pardew said.
The club have also been dealt a blow in their plans to strengthen the squad this summer, as Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette has suggested he would prefer a move to Serie A giants Juventus over anywhere else, with a number of clubs interested in the French international forward - including Newcastle.
"Would I like to play for the Juventus? I’d be a liar to say no. Like everyone I am attracted by great experiences abroad and Juventus is one of the biggest clubs in Europe," said the 22-year-old.