Pardew: Cup win can bring cows home
Alan Pardew is desperate to win a cup for Newcastle, in part so he can graze his cows on the Town Moor.
That right is afforded to Freemen of the City of Newcastle, a band which includes the late Sir Bobby Robson and Jackie Milburn and the Magpies' record goalscorer Alan Shearer, as well as Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and Bob Geldof.
Currently in his fourth year on Tyneside, Pardew knows only too well the hunger for tangible success, which has gone unsatisfied for 45 years since Joe Harvey led the men from Gallowgate to 1969 European Fairs Cup glory.
And despite the club's insistence that the Premier League must be the priority, he is adamant that cup success is a major focus for him as he prepares for Tuesday night's Capital One Cup second round trip to Gillingham.
The 53-year-old said: "Perhaps we at Board level say what other boards don't say -- that the Premier League is the be all and end all because of the TV money.
"You can't hide from that, and we have not hidden from it. We have actually said it, perhaps to our detriment. We have said it and that is our priority, but of course we want to win a cup and of course our fans do. I want to get some cows on that field in Newcastle."
The domestic cup competitions have yielded little joy during Pardew's reign to date with neighbours Sunderland's trip to Wembley in the League Cup last season bringing the Magpies' under-achievement into sharper focus.
Five FA Cup and seven League Cup ties have brought five victories and seven defeats, although four of those wins have come in the competition on which Newcastle embark at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Pardew will be wary of an upset at the hands of the League One side with lower league Stevenage and Brighton twice having dumped his team out of the FA Cup.
However, he is confident his new-look squad has the depth to cope with the challenge.
"I think we have much more depth to our team. The last two or three years in the Premier League, we have lost key players like (Loic) Remy and (Yohan) Cabaye, and the players who have come in just haven't been able to carry the flag. Not that they are poor players, but we just needed a little bit more quality.
"I think we have more depth, and Rolando Aarons and Arma (Adam Armstrong) are coming through as well. We have some good young players, so I feel we are in a strong position."
Pardew will be without central defender Mike Williamson, who is suspended after being sent off for two bookable offences in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Aston Villa, although Steven Taylor was always likely to get a run-out against Gillingham anyway.
Newcastle are yet to score a single goal in their two league games to date with summer signing Emmanuel Riviere yet to open his competitive account, and it would be no surprise if he was handed an opportunity to do just that when he might otherwise have been rested.
But while Pardew intends to travel with a similar squad to the one which headed for Villa Park, there could be opportunities for the likes of Aarons, Armstrong and Mehdi Abeid.