Pardew aware of tests ahead
Alan Pardew has confessed he does not know how good his Newcastle team are despite currently sitting fourth in the league.
By Soriebah Kajue
Last Updated: 21/10/11 4:49pm
Alan Pardew has confessed he does not know how good his Newcastle team are despite currently sitting fourth in the Premier League.
The Magpies endured a tumultuous summer that saw stellar names such as skipper Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton all leave the club.
It left many predicting a season of misery for the club but they have surpassed the expectations of even the most ardent Newcastle fan and are currently 10 games unbeaten.
Next month will see a real examination of their top-four credentials when they face Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.
For Pardew, these games will allow him to assess the mental resistance of his squad, but before that, they will have to contend with Wigan and he believes he still has a lot to learn about his team.
"I think so, and I think Saturday will provide some different problems because the crowd will be expectant," he said.
"We haven't really had that this year, them expecting us to win, so maybe our first misplaced pass will be greeted with jeers.
"They are the sort of things we have got to overcome. We might have a guy sent off, the ref might make a terrible decision - we haven't suffered that yet, so that's all to come, and it's how we react to that."
While Pardew lost key components within the dressing room over the close season, he was able to offset that by bringing in players like Yohan Cabaye and Gabriel Obertan.
Of the remaining players in his squad from last season, the Magpies chief has no doubts about their mentality and he believes his new recruits will adhere to the dressing room philosophy.
He added: "It was like with Cabaye when I saw him at Lille and when we scouted him - what was his character like when things were going against him?
"It was very, very strong, so it's not a complete fluke. You have to make sure you are bringing in players who have that character."