After their heroics in finishing fifth last season, the Magpies have yet to reproduce that form in this year's title race, but the Dutch keeper believes now is the time to shine
However, injuries to key players have meant that Pardew has been unable to select his strongest team, with captain Fabricio Coloccini the most noticeable absentee, and goalkeeper Tim Krul also sidelined. The Netherlands international shot-stopper sees Sunday's game against West Bromwich Albion as the start of the Magpies' season.
“We are getting our solid unit back again", he told The Sun. "We had a few injuries at the start of the season and haven’t been playing with a solid back-four as we did a year ago. We had a real solid base last season, but even I have been injured and out for a few weeks, so it’s nice to get everyone back fit again."
Newcastle have also struggled at the other end of the pitch, with their talisman Papiss Cisse failing to find the net so far this season, but Krul feels it is only a matter of time before the Senegalese striker finds his form again, just as his compatriot Demba Ba has done.
"The same happened last season. If one wasn’t scoring then the other would step in. The season so far, it’s not been the best. We were spoiled last year because we had an unbeaten start of 11 games. Of course people will try to compare this season with the last, but over the next five games we will be playing the teams around us and they are the ones we need to take points from."