ALAN Pardew’s ready to use shock tactics against Manchester United – to end the club’s long search for a win at Old Trafford.
Newcastle United take on the Premier League leaders on Boxing Day looking for their first win at the stadium since 1972.
Pardew’s side pulled five points clear of the relegation zone after Saturday’s win over Queens Park Rangers.
Long-serving striker Shola Ameobi came off the bench to score the only goal of a game dominated by United, who had been perilously close to the bottom three.
Now Newcastle have their sights on a historic win across the Pennines, and Pardew’s ready to freshen up his team for the tough fixture.
“It’s a big day for the team – it’s a two or three-day turnaround,” Pardew said.
“I’d like to think at Man United on Boxing Day we can produce a shock. We’ll have to wait to see if we can.
“I might make a couple of changes to freshen it up, but I’ll have to give that some thought with (assistant manager) John Carver.
“We have to put a team out there which is diligent, and hopefully does the job.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we can take a big team on – three or four weeks ago we wouldn’t have said that.
“Prior to Stoke, you would have said we might be in trouble, but we’re more solid, and look like we have a game plan.
“Everything looks in order, but perhaps before then it didn’t.”
As well as Ameobi, midfielders Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux are pushing for starts against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
The trio all came off the bench against QPR and made a positive impact in the game
“It was nice to see Obertan back,” said Pardew. “Sylvain looks sharp, and is now threatening to take a first-team berth. It looks a little bit better.”
Pardew and his squad will set off for Manchester tomorrow on Christmas Day.
“We’ll be working towards Man United,” he added. “We’ll be in a lonely hotel, but that’s part of our business.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Cheik Tiote will miss the game through suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season for pulling back Shaun Wright-Phillips.