sport

Lack of punch concerns Pardew

Alan Pardew believes Newcastle's failure to penetrate the Norwich defence showed just how desperately they need to buy a new striker.

Pardew was keen to emphasise the positives after the Magpies ended their run of four straight defeats with a 0-0 bore-draw at Carrow Road.

The Toon manager talked up the performance of his defence, and that in particular of want-away captain Fabricio Coloccini, but he could not lavish similar praise on his team's performance at the other end of the pitch.

Papiss Cisse, given the central striker role he craves, failed to impress and the whole team lacked creativity going forward.

Pardew, who lost Demba Ba to Chelsea last week, looks set to sign Loic Remy from Marseille, and the 51-year-old admits the arrival of reinforcements cannot come soon enough.

It is understood talks with Remy and his representatives are ongoing and that Newcastle are optimistic of a deal being done.

"It is pretty obvious that we need another striker," Pardew said.

"We didn't really have the chance to mix it up or an option so we had to stick to the game plan that we had at the start of the game.

"Norwich could bring on Grant Holt to change the game plan a bit but we don't have that luxury. So we need to recruit in the next couple of weeks."

Despite the concerns over his options up front, Pardew was happy to see his team end their losing streak and record their first league clean sheet away from home all season.

With key games coming up against Reading, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Tottenham, Pardew knows his team must start winning matches and he is confident they will do just that.

"With the two games we have next we have a chance to gain some momentum," said Pardew, who welcomed back influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye after a two-month groin injury lay-off.

"It was a really important day today. Then we have Chelsea at home.

"If we have our best players available then we will give them a good game.

"Getting Cabaye back was a massive lift for us. He had 20 minutes today and he will start next week."

Norwich manager Chris Hughton has similar problems to Pardew up front, but they should be eased by the return of captain Holt.

He came on for the last 22 minutes on Saturday having missed the previous three games with a hamstring injury and his manager was pleased to have him back.

"It was an important day for Grant. We weren't in a position to play him for 90 minutes," Hughton said.

"He will have another week's training and will be ready for next week."

Like Pardew, Hughton intends to be active in the transfer market over the next two and a half weeks.

The former Newcastle boss has been linked with a move for Gary Hooper and Danny Graham, but he admits he may have to wait until the end of the window before landing his targets.

"We are working hard but the majority of work is done in the last week or 10 days of the window," Hughton added.

"It's very difficult to bring in players at this time because prices are inflated.

"You have to make sure that any player you bring in isn't just an addition to the squad - they have to improve what you have got. We are working hard and we will continue to do so."