Boss plays down defender speculation
Alan Pardew insists Jose Enrique is still focused on Newcastle despite further speculation linking him with a move away from the club.
The Spaniard's fine form this season has caught the eye of a number of sides including AC Milan and Bayern Munich, while Liverpool were believed to have moved into pole position to sign the full-back. Former Reds defender Phil Thompson was quoted on Norwegian television this week saying a move to Anfield was a 'done deal' - a rumour swiftly denied by Newcastle. The Magpies have also been linked with Toulouse left-back Cheikh M'Bengue, further fuelling speculation that Enrique is on his way out of the North-East club. But Pardew has re-affirmed his desire to keep the former Villarreal man and has praised the player's attitude throughout the saga. "The lad's attitude is great, but that's what you'd expect from top-class professionals," Pardew told the Evening Chronicle. "It's like this argument that footballers get paid too much money now, that they don't care. "But put a ball in front of a player and he wants to win it, regardless of how much he's earning or what his contract situation is. We've got committed players here, there's a great team spirit and we want to see it home now. We want to finish strongly, and I think we can."