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Pardew: Couldn't Have Asked For More

23 August 2016

Alan Pardew saw his team progress through to the third round of the EFL Cup and he was able post-match to take many positives from the 2-0 victory against Blackpool. 

"We were a great cup team last season in both cup competitions and we want to be again and the strength of the team I selected tonight showed that, so we are through with no injuries and a few good debuts. 

"Christian Benteke had forty five minutes, I thought he showed flashes of why we spent a club record fee on him. He hasn’t had a lot of match action and even though we were on the side of a caution with him tonight he looks really good. I will have a think about tonight; look at what is available before I decide whether he will be in my starting line up on Saturday. 

"Our goalkeeper, Steve Mandanda, gave a display for us to see why he was such a legend at Marseille, it was good to see how our fans have taken to him straight away and James Tomkins had a great debut as well."

As well as new signings the manager was also able to run his eye over some of those who haven't appeared as yet for the first team this season.  

"More importantly perhaps were some of our players from last season who have been missing; Cabaye and McArthur were outstanding in the middle of the pitch so I couldn’t have asked for anything more really from tonight."
Connor Wickham confirmed the victory with an early second half goal and Alan Pardew felt that the signing of Benteke will help the 23 year old. 

"He has had a great responsibility being the only striker that we have had available due to injuries and there has been a lot of pressure on him. With Christian’s arrival he has had a bit of a weight lifted from him, he was fresher, sharper and looked better for it. He’s a good player and we’ve got no problem with him and the arrival of Christian is going to give a boost."

Whilst looking ahead to see who his team get in the third round draw the manager feels his squad can now look forward to a return to Premier League action on Saturday against AFC Bournemouth. 
"We’ve known in the first two games we have been missing players and it is nice to see them back and it has been a good night for us, we’ve come through it and we can set ourselves up now for the game at the weekend."

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