Patience, Patience

Trevor Brooking says that fans may have to be a little patient when Alan Pardew takes over as longer term changes may have to take a back seat with so many fixtures coming up in the next fortnight.

"November is probably a time when Alan can look at matters and will have much more time to work on things than in these early weeks of the season," he explains.

"There is my last game on Saturday then there is a quick flurry of games with Forest on Wednesday, Cardiff away on the Saturday, Spurs midweek after that, then Coventry - five matches in two weeks.

"Then November becomes a little bit of a quieter spell when we are probably only playing once a week, which should give a little bit of an opportunity to look at some of the things that have let us down and areas we need to improve.

"If Alan has made one or two additions, or if people are coming back from fitness, it will give us an opportunity to work as a unit then.

"There is no ideal time to take over, unfortunately, with the delays we have had - and Alan must be hugely frustrated to be kicking his heels so long.

"But it is a case of going in there with the only slight dilemma being if we pick up some injuries in my last game - with four games in less than two weeks coming up."

Reflecting on the Norwich game, he says:

"You are looking to try and get three points from those sorts of matches; I thought we did okay in the first half when we got the good start we wanted, one or two other chances, the one hooked off the line from Matthew Etherington was probably the closest one, and they didn't really threaten that much.

"We were one up at half time and thought it probably should have been two, then in the second half there were three or four opportunities, but, although it wasn't as bad as Millwall, there are certain games where we have a bad patch in the second half giving the ball away.

"We get pushed deep and they had an extra man coming in wide from midfield which we didn't sort out, then the goal came from our own corner when we got possession back again, Quinny got it from a throw-in, was in two minds, tried to turn outside his man, lost it, Rob just missed out on a second challenge in the corner, and Crouch got the header when two or three others had got back and there wasn't a proper challenge.

"You can't always complain about the odd goal because the defensive record is really good; we have to put our chances away as one goal is not always enough in this league.

"It is frustrating but we know we are not the finished product and that is the reason why Alan has a lot of work to do to get us into those automatic places.

"Jermain and Conners were missing in this particular game and Michael was a yard or two short because he needs one or two games to get his match fitness - that will take a bit of time.

"I am sure we need two or three options in the squad and Alan will be coming into some thoughts on that.

"We have the capability to get better from a consistency point of view; you can't have spells during every match where you will let the opposition back in - because you will get punished.

"We are in touching distance at fourth but it could be a good deal better; the plus, I suppose, is that we are where we are knowing that we should be able to get a good deal better.

"You have got to get your consistency which is about improving your quality and concentration; when we get ahead we should keep the ball better than we do because we go a bit deep and knock longer balls, and don't then support when we should.

"You can look at fitness areas but you would have thought the training is sufficient to cope with that."