ALAN Pardew’s simple wish for the New Year is to get a full-strength Newcastle United side out for the first time this season.
If he achieves that, the United boss is confident their relegation worries will be a thing of the past.
Newcastle begin 2013 with a treacherous-looking fixture against Everton tonight, but a bullish Pardew feels victory in the game would be a “platform” to better fortunes for the Magpies in the New Year.
Their memories of 2012, when the club achieved its highest finish for eight years, were sullied by results in November and December which have left the club glancing nervously over their shoulders at the relegation places.
Pardew, however, believes a combination of January recruitment – a formal announcement of Mathieu Debuchy’s signing is imminent – and the return of key players will see United safe.
He said: “The most important thing is to be realistic with our situation.
“I do feel it has been a decent year. I look at this group of players and know if they were all fit we would be in such a great position.
“I have been in situations like this before and if you look at the team and you think ‘wow, that is our best team playing out there and we are losing games,’ then you do have a problem.
“We have not reached that stage yet. It would be nice to get to the stage when we do get out our best team and lose – then I really would be moaning! I have not really had that chance yet.
“I do think there is some real light at the end of the tunnel, especially today after that heavy defeat at Arsenal because we have had good news in terms of players coming back and positive news in terms of negotiations taking place and hopefully that will all come to fruition.”
Pardew hailed Everton as one of the best-performing teams of the last calendar year and accepts that they will pose a major threat to Newcastle tonight.
However, reminded of the impact defeating Manchester United last New Year had on their season, he is confident the Mag pies they can conjure up a victory.
Pardew added: “Everton could be a platform for us, a difficult platform but no more difficult than Man United last year.
“I feel within the team we can beat them. It’s not like I am in a position where I think the team has massively malfunctioned and we havea problem.
Other than the last 20 minutes, we gave a good account of ourselves at Arsenal.”
Reflecting on their festive fortunes, Pardew reaffirmed the idea fatigue played a huge part.
He said: “We played Arsenal and then Man U away from home and gained no points.
“I don’t think that is too surprising. The last 20 minutes at Arsenal were really not us.
“Our stats and everything I have seen suggests to me we were tired, not just physically but tired mentally.
“Some of our positional play was poor and we paid the ultimate penalty for that.
“I hope to think we will not get ourselves in that situation for the rest of the season.
“However, we have to be on guard tonight because the games are coming thick and fast.
“It is another top team so I want to rest the body and the mind rather than work with it.
“I think that’s where we are at at the moment.
“Having said that, the training ground on Monday morning and it looked a lot healthier.
“Johan Cabaye and Steven Taylor were running around cones, Anita was training, Williamson was raining.
“The first team are all coming through bar Danny Simpson. I think everyone felt ‘OK, this looks a little better.’”
As for New Year’s resolutions, Pardew said that putting 12 consistent months together was the aim.
“Yeah, to win more games, that would be nice.
“Take November and December out of the year and it was really a great year for the club.
“Unfortunately, you cannot take them out of equation.
“That means next year we have to put 12 months good together. That would be fantastic if we could do it.”