sport

Pardew's warning to players

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has admitted some of his squad are playing for their futures with the club over the remaining 12 games of this season.

After a promising first half of the campaign, Newcastle have stalled in recent weeks with three successive defeats causing them to lose to touch with the top six.

The downturn in form has coincided with the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris St Germain during the transfer window last month and Pardew has claimed he will be looking to bring in four players in the summer.

And the Magpies boss says there are question marks hanging over members of his current squad, including the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan and January loan signing Luuk de Jong.

Asked if some were playing for their future, Pardew replied: "Yes, I think some are.

"Others not so, but I am still looking for a level of performance and consistency that will maybe get them into a World Cup squad and make sure they are a regular next season at this football club."

Pardew's pressing concern, though, is to arrest the slump in form that has seen United pick up just one point from the last four games and concede 10 goals without reply in the last three.

In their last match, Newcastle were hammered 4-0 at St James' Park by in-form Tottenham and Pardew has made it clear to his players the manner of the loss was unacceptable.

"I can accept defeat, I have no problem with that, but there are ways and means to get a defeat.

"That wasn't the way or the means to get a defeat at this football club and I won't accept it.

"I just thought it was important to remind players of the responsibility they have, no matter how comfortable we are in the league, that there's a certain standard at this football club that we expect, and we didn't reach that standard by any stretch of the imagination.

"I made it plainly clear that I won't stand for it. That will be reflected in the selection of the team, and hopefully in the result."

They host Aston Villa on Sunday and Pardew is keen to claim a win that would take them to 40 points.

"I would like to really get that out of the way on Sunday and hopefully we can," said Pardew. "I wouldn't say we are very comfortable, but we are comfortable."