Pardew pleads for Magpies to maintain momentum
NEWCASTLE manager Alan Pardew is urging his players to build on their shock Premier League victory over Manchester United to ease themselves into the FA Cup fourth round.
The Magpies ended their 10-year wait for a victory over Alex Ferguson's men when they enjoyed a 3-0 win on Wednesday evening, but Pardew's attention swiftly turned to tomorrow's cup visit of Blackburn.
He said: "It's 10 years since we beat them, so it just goes to show it is a significant victory -- but that's all, and the most important thing for us is the season.
"We are halfway through, we have started 2012 with a bang and hopefully we can carry that forward.
"I always think it brings momentum to a football club, a cup run, of course it does.
"We want to continue our momentum, so we need to win the game."
For Rovers, the game represents some relief from a fraught league campaign - although they produced a stunning victory at Old Trafford in their battle against the drop.
Tottenham, who are three points behind second-placed Manchester United with a game in hand, travel to Cheltenham, second in League Two.
Stoke face a potentially tricky trip to League Two promotion contenders Gillingham with the club determined to improve on their efforts last season - when they were runners-up to Manchester City.
Captain Ryan Shawcross is determined to make up for the disappointment at Wembley when Yaya Touré's second-half strike sealed the trophy for Roberto Mancini's team.
Shawcross said: "As hard as it was to accept that we didn't perform well in that final, there is a burning desire now to get to more cup finals so that we can win a trophy."
Gills manager Andy Hessenthaler wants his side simply to enjoy facing a top-flight team although he does not write off the prospect of an upset.
He said: "It will be a tough game but there's no pressure on us at all.
"If we give everything and some of their players have an off day then who knows?"
Wolves have a difficult trip to midlands neighbours Birmingham and forward Adam Hamill knows they must put all thoughts of the defeat by Chelsea behind them. He said: "Birmingham will be a totally different game to Chelsea, no disrespect to Birmingham.
"We've got to approach the game in the same way - with 100 per cent commitment."
West Brom host Championship promotion contenders Cardiff with the Baggies rocked by the news captain Chris Brunt will be out for up to 10 weeks after breaking his ankle on New Year's Day.
The Northern Ireland international fell awkwardly during the match against Everton and will today undergo surgery, meaning he will be absent until the middle of March.
Norwich host a Burnley side whose run of three successive wins was ended by Leeds earlier this week while Everton host non-league Tamworth.
Swansea have a difficult trip to Barnsley, Aston Villa travel to Bristol Rovers -- 19th in League Two -- while Fulham host League One leaders Charlton.
For one weekend at the very least, Wigan can leave their survival struggle behind them when they visit Swindon, Bolton go to Macclesfield while QPR have a tough tie at League One side MK Dons.
Sunday sees the clash of Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, Chelsea host Portsmouth, a resurgent Sunderland visit Peterborough while West Ham have a difficult tie at Sheffield Wednesday.
The cup kicks off tonight when Liverpool face Oldham.