Pardew has had to rely on a number of outcasts and academy players this season, with injuries and bad form losing the consistency regularly found in the Newcastle ranks.
Having failed to win any of their first seven games, a run of four consecutive victories - five in all competitions - has left the Magpies just two points off the top four, whilst alleviating the pressure on manager Alan Pardew’s head. Pardew can take much the praise for the remarkable turnaround, with his in-game decisions leading the Toon to victories against Tottenham, Liverpool, and Manchester City, but his pre-match team selections have been forced on him more than anything.
The likes of Rolando Aarons, Sammy Ameobi and Mehdi Abeid - the latter two whom have failed to make an impact in their previous years at St James’ Park - have become key parts of Pardew’s first-team, despite starting the season outside the squad, and, with a number of people said to be returning from injury over the international break, it is likely that the trio will retain their places in the starting XI - but this time, on merit rather than as a last resort.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Pardew praised his young stars, claiming that he had to ‘lean’ on them whilst the situation grew tougher with every passing week on Tyneside.
The 53-year-old coach said: “The younger players have been magnificent. I’d have been surprised to name this team at the start of the season.
“But I’ve leant on them, they’ve worked hard in the background all this time and we are getting our rewards.”
Aarons has been lost to a hamstring injury, keeping him out for three weeks, but Ameobi and Abeid will be keen to keep their place in the starting XI when the Premier League returns, with QPR travelling to St James’ Park on November 22.