Pardew and Maradona are similar characters, says Newcastle midfielder Gutierrez

The Argentina international has drawn comparisons between his current club manager and the former World Cup winning coach as the Magpies look to surge up the table

Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez believes there are similarities between manager Alan Pardew and one of the greatest players in the game's history – Diego Maradona.

The Argentine has played under five managers during his four-year stay at St James' Park but can see the resemblance between the two and their love for the game.

"I play most of my best games on the left wing but because of the injuries we've had this season I've had to be more in the middle of midfield and it's been harder," Gutierrez told the Guardian.

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"But in some ways Alan Pardew is a bit like Diego Maradona. They are different people but they are both passionate for football. They have a real thing for it; they think about it in the same way.

"Alan Pardew has found a really good group of players who all want to do very well for the team.”

Despite a strong campaign last time out for the Magpies when they finished fifth, this season has seen problems on the field and injury concerns which have hampered their campaign so far.

Newastle travel to league leaders Manchester United on Boxing Day and Gutierrez says the Magpies need to start winning.

"It's a difficult season, we're conceding goals we kept out last year, but we're all still working very hard," he continued.

"Last season we were lucky with injuries and suspensions. This year we've been unlucky and we now know it is the hardest thing to play well in the Europa League and the Premier League. But we have to start winning.

"Otherwise there's going to be too much pressure; we have to start climbing the table and then we can still finish quite high in the spring."