Pardew's striking concerns
Alan Pardew has only three fit strikers available and hopes they can step up to the mark in the coming weeks.
By Graeme Bailey - Follow me on Twitter @graemebailey
Last Updated: 03/02/11 7:39am
Alan Pardew has only three fit strikers available and he hopes they can step up to the mark in the coming weeks.
Having sold Andy Carroll, the Newcastle boss then saw his leading striker Shola Ameobi suffer a suspected fractured cheekbone during their 1-0 defeat to Fulham on Wednesday.
That leaves Pardew with just Leon Best, Nile Ranger and Peter Lovenkrands to challenge for striking roles.
And Pardew offered an honest early assessment of his remaining front-men as they failed to impress at Craven Cottage, with all three seeing some action.
"I will be honest about the strikers," he said.
"They weren't as good as they have been. Young Nile has got a lot to learn and Leon Best, unfortunately for Leon, didn't have a good night.
"Maybe there was a little added pressure on them - they're going to have to deal with that.
"But Leon is not a young player. He's got good experience. This is not a player who is new to the game. Nile Ranger for sure is, but Leon Best isn't.
"Bestie is probably now the one who has got to come to the fore.
"Then we have Lovenkrands, who can certainly affect the first team in a number of ways.
"Those are the three we have and we have to get the best out of them."