Premier League: Newcastle make Ebola crisis provisions
Last Updated: 17/10/14 8:39am
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has revealed the club are making provisions for their Africa Cup of Nations hopefuls amid growing concerns over the Ebola crisis.
Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote and Senegal striker Papiss Cisse have been taking part in qualifiers for the finals - which are scheduled to take place in Morocco from January 17 to February 8 - this week.
However, with concerns currently being raised about the safety of players, officials and fans alike, Pardew admits the club have taken precautions.
He said: "We would be naive not to have concerns. We have a strategy for when they return and making sure they and their families are taken care of.
"They are essential to us and our doctor has looked into the problems that might arise and also protection for them, and to make sure we do our very best to help them."
Whether or not the finals go ahead in Morocco as planned remains to be seen, but Newcastle will maintain a watching brief as those discussions continue.
We would be naive not to have concerns. We have a strategy for when they (Tiote and Cisse) return and making sure they and their families are taken care of.
Pardew said: "That's something that will play out as we go along. That kind of decision is a big, big one and I'm sure the countries will make that rather than club managers. It's something to be concerned about and we have to be on our guard."
Meanwhile, it is the more mundane matter of arresting an alarming start to the Premier League season which will be of more immediate concern to Pardew this Saturday when the Magpies host Leicester.
Newcastle have won none of their first seven league fixtures and will break a club record if they fail to end that run at St James' Park.
Pardew added: "I don't think it's about calming down. We haven't won a game yet and Newcastle United need to win.
"We are paid to win games, not to draw games or be honourable losers, so we need to win and therefore the pressure is very much on me and the team. We shouldn't shirk that.
"It's not easy at the moment, there have been easier times. When you are winning, things can fall into place. Where we are right now when you're fighting for every result, it makes it difficult and stressful.
"I've enjoyed, I'd say, 80 per cent of it, most of it has been pretty good. The most important is where we are right now. We are desperate for a win and I really want to deliver it on Saturday."