sport

Pardew: Debuchy deal can lift Toon

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is hoping a successful pursuit of Mathieu Debuchy will help to secure the club's biggest names.

The Magpies are hopeful of pushing through their protracted move for the 27-year-old Lille full-back later this week after tracking the France international for more than a year.

At a time when the future of striker Demba Ba is looking increasingly uncertain, that would represent a major boost for Pardew as he looks to build his team around the likes of Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Debuchy's close friend, Yohan Cabaye.

He said: "When you sign good, senior international players, which he is, it's going to give everybody a boost, your senior players too.

"I hope that's the case - but we are still far from a deal yet."

In the short term, Pardew's only focus, however, is tomorrow night's clash with Everton in which the Magpies will attempt to avoid a ninth defeat in just 11 Premier League games.

That sequence of results culminated in a remarkable pair of fixtures in the immediate aftermath of Christmas, which saw Newcastle visit Manchester United and Arsenal in quick succession and score three goals on both occasions.

However, the fact that they conceded four at Old Trafford and, in a kamikaze conclusion to the game, seven at the Emirates Stadium, meant they returned home with nothing to show for their efforts.

The task gets little easier back on Tyneside as Everton are smarting from their 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea on Sunday despite taking the lead and with the influential Marouane Fellaini back among their ranks following his three-match ban.

Pardew, who could be forgiven for bemoaning his current run of fortune, said with a smile: "We are expecting them to sign Ronaldo tomorrow.

"We are accepting all of that, we really have to turn a blind eye to all of that. We are not really bothered, we just know it's about us.

"We are at home and our fans have been brilliant. They have stayed with us through this difficult, difficult period and I hope we can reward them."

Pardew's problems have been compounded in recent weeks by injuries and suspensions, and while there is a little light at the end of the tunnel - defender Steven Taylor and midfielder Yohan Cabaye have returned to training, but are still some way away from being available - the list of absentees is not getting any shorter.

Central defender Mike Williamson is back after serving a one-match ban at the Emirates, but right-back Danny Simpson is out for up to four games after breaking a toe in that game and that could see James Perch asked to plug a different gap.

Pardew said: "We have got some fantastic players who are not contributing at the minute.

"Our whole first-choice midfield, except maybe Cheick [Tiote], is sitting in the treatment room, so once they come back...

"We were a little bit more positive yesterday on the training ground. Cabaye was running around, Taylor is running around on the training pitch, and suddenly that has given everyone a little lift."

However, whoever does line up against the Toffees, Pardew is calling for a more cerebral approach after the late capitulation in north London.

He said: "I can honestly say the players played with all their hearts at Arsenal, but perhaps not with their minds.

"We have got to be a little bit more intelligent than we were in the second half at Arsenal.

"But there was a big fatigue factor in there and sometimes, it can make your mind dull as well as make your legs not run as fast."