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Pardew backs Newcastle United to bounce back from slump

Alan Pardew believes his Newcastle United side will soon be back on form.

The Magpies suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City at the weekend, meaning they have now gone three Premier League games without a win. With the object this season being to once again challenge for a top-four position, this sequence of results has seen them fall nine points off the pace.

Maritimo visit St James Park on Thursday as the league action takes a backseat to the UEFA Europa League, a competition in which they could qualify for the knockout stage if they beat the Portuguese. And then Pardew takes his team to St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon, to take on his former club Southampton.

If United can pick up successive wins over the next few days then their plight will look better, and their manager certainly believes this is possible – especially as a number of his senior players will soon once more be available.

"We've had a bit of a dip and we're sad about that, sad for our fans. We have to come out fighting and we want to do that on Thursday night,” he said. “And for us on Sunday it's a big game and we need to pick up some points.

"I think it will help if we have our senior players back and hopefully we'll have one or two back this week and maybe a couple more next week. So that will arm me and make the side stronger. We need to respond."

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