Pardew plans for the summer
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has revealed planning for a summer overhaul of his squad has already started.
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The 52-year-old cut a frustrated figure in January as the winter transfer window passed not only with just loan signing Luuk de Jong having arrived on Tyneside, but with star midfielder Yohan Cabaye having headed through the exit door in a big-money move to Paris St Germain.
But as fans rebelled once again and ill-fated director of football Joe Kinnear parted company with the club, Pardew dusted himself down and set his sights on a significant closed-season recruitment drive.
Asked if planning was under way and targets actively being pursued, he replied in the affirmative. Asked further if it was his hope that business would be done early in the summer window, he added: "Yes, it is. Our process has started."
The remaining few weeks of the current campaign could prove to be something of a watershed for several senior players, with leading scorer Loic Remy and fellow forward De Jong only on loan and the likes of Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux still having something to prove to their manager after mixed campaigns to date.
However, it will be an important time too for Pardew's younger generation, with the club facing a decision over midfielder Sammy Ameobi, while youngsters Adam Armstrong, who made his senior debut as a substitute in last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Fulham, and Remie Streete pushing hard.
Pardew said: "It's important because I have to start planning for next year.
"Is Sammy Ameobi going to be good enough? Is Armstrong going to feature next year, or do I loan him out for a bit more experience?
"I have got Remie Streete, who is doing particularly well in the development group - is he going to get a game? Does he need to go out on loan? Massadio [Haidara] has not had much action.
"They all need to be answered, those questions, in the next few weeks."
For the time being at least, Pardew's assessment of those players will be conducted away from the heat of Barclays Premier League battle, with the Magpies' boss due to serve the second instalment of his three-match stadium ban when Crystal Palace visit St James' Park on Saturday.
The independent regulatory commission which handed him his suspension, which also includes a four-game stint in the stands, published its written reasons on Wednesday and revealed Pardew could have been hit with an even longer ban but for his mitigation.
He said: "I just thought it was important that they heard from me, that in the future I am going to have to make sure that type incident doesn't happen for me again.
"I wanted to reassure them of that, which I did. I have taken my punishment and it's there for everyone to see."
Pardew is yet to decide where he will watch Saturday's game, but admits he is counting down the days until he can re-join assistant John Carver for the trip to former club Southampton on March 29.
He said: "All I do know is that on Saturday, I have got four days left and two important games to sit out."
Ben Arfa and Sammy Ameobi will return to the squad after injury, but full-back Davide Santon will miss out despite his recovery from a knee problem because of a bout of tonsillitis.
Meanwhile, Pardew backed midfielder Dan Gosling to bounce back after he was this week fined £30,000 by the FA for breaching betting rules.
The manager, who has spoken to the whole squad about the regulations, said: "He [Gosling] has got his punishment and that will probably hurt him.
"But he's a great lad and it shouldn't be a black mark against his name in terms of the way he plays and conducts himself. He's a terrific professional here."