Newcastle United-Cardiff City Preview

The Associated Press

An under-fire Alan Pardew has vowed to shore up Newcastle United's shoddy defence ahead of Saturday's trip to Wales to face surprising Cardiff City.

Newcastle have slumped to consecutive 3-2 Premier League defeats and an atrocious first-half display Monday night in which the Magpies were three down at half-time at Everton has caused Pardew to suggest change is in the air at St. James' Park.

"The goals in the first half, they're not acceptable for me and I'll make sure, we're going to have to tighten up there and maybe make a couple of changes," Pardew said.

Pardew hauled off Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Hatem Ben Arfa at half-time, and his side turned in a more spirited display. Yohan Cabaye scored in the 51st minute and Loic Remy tallied in the 89th as Newcastle nearly escaped Goodison Park with a point.

"Defensively we've got to be better than we are at the moment," Pardew said. "We've got goals in the team, we've shown that tonight."

Reports surfaced that Pardew offered his resignation to owner Mike Ashley, but nothing has been confirmed.

Mike Williamson could be in Pardew's side in place of Yanga-Mbiwa, who he replaced Monday for the second half. Williamson has yet to start in the Premier League this season.

Only Sunderland have conceded more goals in the league than the 11 let in by Newcastle.

"In terms of the goals, they were too easy and we have to make sure we drill ourselves and we're right for Cardiff," Pardew said.

Newcastle are in 16th place after a season-long relegation battle last campaign while Cardiff City sit in 11th place on eight points - one more than the Magpies.

The Premier League newboys have seen their last two fixtures end in cracking finishes. They fell 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur on Sept. 22 on Paulinho's goal in stoppage time before winning 2-1 at Fulham last Saturday on Jordon Mutch's goal after 90 minutes had elapsed.

The victory at Craven Cottage, however, was not of the smash-and-grab variety as the visitors bossed the proceedings and finished with a 22-9 edge in overall shots.

"I thought we had a lot of possession, Gary Medel in particular ran the game," manager Malky Mackay said.

The Fulham match marked the second straight without former Newcastle forward Craig Bellamy in the lineup. Bellamy started the first four games and failed to score.

Peter Odemwingie received his first Premier League start, and the Nigeria international's emergence may keep Bellamy rooted to the bench.

Remy has scored three times in the last two matches for Pardew's side while Cabaye has earned a place in the side this weekend based on his display Monday night.

"We're the kind of a team that we need to bring it together," Pardew said. "We can't bring it in patches."

These sides last met in the Championship in 2009-10, with Newcastle posting victories by 1-0 away and 5-1 at St. James' Park.

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