Alan Pardew admits Newcastle need to strengthen before Europa League knockout stages
Alan Pardew admits he needs to strengthen his Newcastle squad before the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Last Updated: 07/12/12 7:05am
The Magpies had already qualified for the last 32 before their 2-0 defeat in Bordeaux, which saw them finish second in Group D.
Pardew fielded an inexperienced side at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, leaving key players such as Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa at home nursing injuries.
However, he is hoping that by the time they resume their European campaign in February, his hand will have been strengthened.
"We wanted to qualify, that was the first agenda in this competition, and we did that with a game to spare," he said.
"I think it would have been difficult coming here if we both hadn't qualified and they played their best team on that pitch.
"It would have been difficult for us because they have got some very good players.
"But the bottom line is we have qualified and we can look forward to February.
"I am just hoping that, fingers-crossed, when we come out of the other side of the window, we have got a stronger squad."
Bordeaux, who also made wholesale changes, dominated for long spells and secured victory through two goals from Cheick Diabate.
Pardew said: "I was a bit disappointed, really. We both played mixed teams - we had both qualified, which made it psychologically a difficult game.
"The pitch was difficult. They play rugby on that pitch and it was heavy on the legs.
"I thought they coped better with the pitch, and they were the better side and they deserved to win."
Few of Pardew's young guns enhanced their reputations on a difficult night, and he admitted some of them might have to prove themselves elsewhere before being given another opportunity.
He said: "Certainly looking at my group there, I think they need to learn a little bit more about this game away from the black and white and the pressure of the jersey here and the level we are playing at.
"I will probably look at loaning a few of those who played tonight, hopefully after January when I have got a stronger position in the squad."
Bordeaux boss Francis Gillot admitted he was more than satisfied with his team's performance on the night and throughout the group phase.
He said: "Of course I am. It's a big satisfaction to win both the game and the group.
"The performance of my team was very good. Everybody played as a team, everybody knew the principles of the game and of the group mentality.
"I am very happy that the team played as a group and not as individuals."
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