Pards' Preview

Alan Pardew is not best pleased that Matthew Etherington is suspended for the Walsall game this weekend - but says there is the squad to cope with it.

"Everyone is okay although Matthew is suspended which is a shame, because he has been playing so well for us," he says.

"But we are much better prepared for him not being in the team because the last time he wasn't playing we looked a shadow of a side."

Matthew was sent off for a second bookable offence when he was deemed to be time wasting when placing the ball in the quadrant for a corner against Norwich recently, and Alan adds:

"The suspension follows an incident which in my view should have been avoided and this is what I was trying to express to people at the time.

"My frustration was not so much about that particular game, it was about the game he was going to miss, which is a crucial one for us.

"These are key points when referees are making decisions about sending people off - they sometimes don't appreciate the consequences."

Alan is happy to be back at home this weekend, and he says:

"We were disappointed not to win on Tuesday even though Burnley is a tough place to go to, but we have to put that behind us with these two home games coming up.

"I am very pleased it is a full house and we certainly don't take our supporters for granted.

"Our young fans are the future of this club and we hope we will be sending them home happy.

"The last time it was 'kids for a quid' we won so let's hope it can inspire us again."

Of the opposition, Alan says:

"I'd be lying if I said that Walsall have been doing well of late but they are a wounded animal - and that can be dangerous.

"People are expecting us to win as well and that can make things hard."

Alan has set a target of 10 wins from the remaining 13 games and explains:

"With the target we are trying to stretch ourselves; we are going to try and win every game, obviously, and see where we go at the end of the season."