ALAN Pardew has challenged his pack of strikers to prove him wrong – as he predicts more to come from Demba Ba and Leon Best.
The United boss spent most of the summer hammering home the point to all and sundry that Newcastle needed a proven hitman to shoulder the Premier League goalscoring burden – but having seen the board’s efforts come to nothing, he is now concentrating on the strikers he has got.
Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best have proved reliable to Pardew in the past, and he will send them out again during the winter months with the aim of securing their own role in his plans beyond January.
There is also an expectation that Demba Ba will step up following the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which the striker was fasting.
Having seen Best step up and score twice against Fulham, he knows that there are goals to be squeezed out of a forward line that managed to score 22 goals for Newcastle between them last year.
Ba’s seven goals for West Ham following a January switch from Hoffenheim should also be taken into account.
Pardew said: “There are some roles up for grabs here. When Shola has played for me, he has done terrific, and the same is true of Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best.
“So between the three of them, there is a lot of competition. And Ba is coming in as well. When you start saying their names and what they have done for me, they’ve all done very well.
“I’ve got to make sure that hunger stays there and that someone in that group gets us the goals we’re going to need.”
Ba has struggled for sharpness since his summer move from West Ham but Pardew feels that brighter days are over the horizon for the Senegal striker.