ALAN Pardew believes his new-look Newcastle United are going into every Premier League game with the belief they can win.
The United boss leads his team into battle in Birmingham today against an Aston Villa side that Pardew acknowledges are competing in the ‘league within a league’ behind the Champions League heavyweights.
Newcastle had a habit of slipping up in similar circumstances last season, but Pardew believes that with a younger, fresher look about his side they will go into this game – and every other one – with a belief that they can emerge victorious.
“What is important is that every Premier League team we play against, we go in there with the belief we can win with the players we have got,” he said.
“The game plan will be slightly different against Villa because different players give you different types of problems, but we are going there thinking we can win.
“That is always the most important thing, regardless of what “division” they are in in the Premier League.
“I do not really think about them too much and where they are in the league, even though we’re probably competing against teams like Aston Villa to a certain extent.”
United’s impressive start to the season will face a serious examination at Villa Park, where they were disappointing when confronted with a chance to ‘kick on’ towards a Europa League challenge last season. Pardew feels the DNA of the squad has changed, which could be key.
While much has been made of the failure to land a second striker during the January window, United do look to have more strength in depth in some important areas.