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Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Pardew stresses importance of self-belief

Kristan Heneage

Alan Pardew has warned his fringe players ahead of Newcastle's Europa League tie at Maritimo on Thursday not to bother getting on the plane unless they think they can win.

The Magpies will be without a number of first-team players for the club's opening game of the Europa League group stage, including star strikers Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba.

Pardew will have to shuffle his squad in order to accommodate for those absent, and he wants any players coming into the side to understand the importance of confidence.

"You have to have belief. It is the most important ingredient. You have to believe you can win a game," he told the Evening Chronicle. "I've been in teams as a player when I didn't think we were going to win.

"You have to make sure that belief is there. It wasn't there at Everton. We were all at fault. Not just myself, the players and the staff."

Despite planning to field an under-strength side, the Newcastle boss stressed the importance of his side's next fixture.

"Whatever team we put out I want a win," he said. "If we do that it will set us up nicely for Norwich. It could be a season-changer for us."

Meanwhile, defender James Perch has spoken of his excitement at the club's European campaign, despite the steep learning curve the competition presents.

"It's exciting times ahead. You don't think about Europe too much at the start of your career," Perch said. "But when it comes around, like it did last season, you really want it. I just wanted us to get through against Atromitos and play in Europe.

"The thing I found the hardest was the referee and the contact when you're used to the English game. I'm used to League One, where anything goes! All of a sudden, you're playing in Europe, and you've got to be careful with the contact you put on people. It's frustrating at times, but it'll come. It's a learning curve."




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