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Pardew hopes Newcastle can maintain Mourinho hoodoo

Reuters , Thursday 4 Dec 2014
Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew (Photo: Reuters)
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 Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is hoping his side can continue their Premier League hoodoo over Jose Mourinho at St James' Park when Premier League leaders Chelsea visit the north-east on Saturday.

Newcastle will be seeking a third successive home league win over Chelsea at the imposing 52,000 city-centre ground where Mourinho has not won a league match in four visits in his two spells at Chelsea.

However, the leaders are seeking a club record 24th successive unbeaten match since last April when they lost at home to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals.

But they have not had the best returns from their visits to Newcastle where they were beaten 2-0 last November in Mourinho's first season back and 3-2 the season before that when Rafa Benitez was in charge.

Pardew is optimistic his side have what it takes to become the first to beat Chelsea in any competition this season.

"Mentally we are in a strong position and our confidence is high. We have a good spirit and are learning lessons along the way," he said at his pre-match briefing on Thursday.

"We need to threaten Chelsea because they look terrific. They are a great team who are strong and organised.

"Somewhere along the line Chelsea will slip up, and hopefully we can exploit any weaknesses they have."

Pardew's side have improved following their poor start to the season with just two defeats in their last 12 games in all competitions which included a run of six straight wins until they lost at West Ham United last weekend.

In Mourinho's first spell in charge, Chelsea drew 1-1 there in 2004-05, lost 1-0 in 2005-06 and drew 0-0 in 2006-07.

However they did win two League Cup matches there but also lost an FA Cup game in Feb. 2005.

Pardew said that defender Fabricio Coloccini had returned to training following injury, but added: "whether he has the fitness levels to play in this game, I don't know."

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