Alan Pardew concerned by congested schedule

Pardew concerned by congested schedule
© PA Photos
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew admits that his side are struggling to cope under the extra workload provided by the Europa League this season.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has admitted that a congested fixture calendar is having an adverse affect on his side.

Qualifying for the Europa League group stages has ensured that the Magpies must play three times a week consistently this season, heaping extra pressure on a stretched Toon squad.

Pardew revealed that he has been tinkering with his team selections but is still convinced that his side are struggling to match last season's exploits.

He told ESPN: "Last year we looked like a rhythmic team, keeping the ball well and moving teams around and at the minute we are just hanging in there.

"I have been picking sides which I think suit each game. Would we have beaten Club Brugge with the team we played at Sunderland? With the energy we put out that day, I don't think we would have.

"This Thursday-Sunday routine is tough on us. We do not seem to have the hang of it, I make no bones about that."

Newcastle turn their focus back to domestic matters this weekend with a trip to Liverpool.

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