ALAN Pardew feels the pressure of wearing a Newcastle jersey is affected the development of some of his younger players.
The Newcastle boss was not particularly concerned about losing the race to finish top of Group D in Bordeaux last night, although he did admit that having to play the second leg of their knockout game away from St James’ Park will be tougher.
But he was bothered about the way that his players reacted to the pressure.
“We would have preferred to have won the group, for sure. In that second leg, it gives you a slight advantage, being at home,” he said.
“But I genuinely think that when this comes around in February, I am hoping to have a stronger position in the league and to have a stronger squad to pick from, certainly stronger than I had tonight.
“A few of those young players, like Nile Ranger – he has only had one reserve game and that was a bit tough on him.
“But we felt he deserved the right to play a game and he has trained well.
“But certainly looking at my group there, I think they need to learn a little bit more about this game away from the black and white and the pressure of the jersey here and the level we are playing at.
“I will probably look at loaning a few of those who played tonight, hopefully after January when I have got a stronger position in the squad.”
Pardew admitted that Bordeaux fully merited their win – although he was correct to point out that the pitch, which is also used to play rugby, was exceedingly poor.
“The pitch was difficult. They play rugby on that pitch and it was heavy on the legs,” he said.
“I thought they coped better with the pitch, and they were the better side and they deserved to win.”