Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has explained what he feels the side need in order to mount a challenge for the top eight.
Newcastle have struggled for consistency in the Premier League this season and their heavy defeat at the hands of Arsenal last weekend has left the team holding eighth place with Swansea just one point behind.
“When we come into January if I can get Siem De Jong back and my two goalies return we are going to look like a very strong squad. We can push for top eight I hope. At the moment we are just finding our way,” he told the Chronicle.
“It’s another new team, probably my third team since I’ve been here. I like this one it’s got a nice blend to it.”
Before the loss at Arsenal, Newcastle were undefeated in December and became the first side to beat Chelsea in the Premier League this season.
Pardew has been forced to endure injuries at key times to his most important players, but with a fully fit squad, he’ll be able to pick his first choice team on a consistent basis.
It’s extremely difficult for various areas of the team to gel and play productively when the side changes so frequently.
“We’ve had some great times and beat a lot of great teams. We’ve had some success and got ourselves into Europe, finished fifth then got to the quarter-finals of the Europa League so we do need to improve on that if we can.”
Another good tactic to help Newcastle consolidate in the top eight is getting the side to focus on those positive times.
St James Park was an intimidating place for any side to visit when Newcastle were in Europe and a top eight place will allow the side to look up the table and even target the top six over the second half of the campaign.