Newcastle: Boss Alan Pardew prepared for Hull scrap

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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has warned his players to expect a tough test at Hull on Saturday as they go in search of back-to-back Premier League victories.

The Magpies arrested an alarming run of three successive defeats with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa last time out for only their second victory in the last nine top-flight games.

Early-season success means that, despite the dip in form, the north-east outfit are safely in mid-table with 40 points to their name and will not face the prospect of a relegation fight during the end-of-season run-in.

There were even thoughts of qualifying for Europe after the first half of the season but a 10-point gap to fifth-placed Tottenham means those dreams are now a thing of the past this term.

But there are still plenty of points to be played for this season and the demanding Toon Army will want to see an improvement game-on-game.

However, Hull are 2.38 favourites to take all three points with Newcastle priced at 3.06 to come away with the spoils, and Pardew admits that a trip to the Yorkshire coast is never an easy ride.

“This is a tough place to go,” he said. “They’ve only conceded 10 goals all year. They’ve only been beaten four times at home. This is a tough game for us.

“But we mustn’t think we’ve beaten Villa and everything’s OK.”

Newcastle have no fresh injury worries but Davide Santon will miss out again, so Paul Dummett is likely to continue at left-back.

Sammy Ameobi could feature again on one of the wings with Yoan Gouffran on the other, while Luuk De Jong may get the nod ahead of Papiss Cisse.

Hull are without Paul McShane and Robbie Brady but boss Steve Bruce should be able to call on Tom Huddlestone, while Liam Rosenior and Alex Bruce face late fitness tests.

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