Newcastle United's Alan Pardew hopes to honour the late Gary Speed with victory over Chelsea

Magpies’ manager hopes to pay tribute to former midfielder after his unfortunate passing, and admits training has been difficult for his emotionally stricken team
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew hopes his side can pay tribute to former player Gary Speed with an upset against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday at St James' Park.

The late Welshman plied his trade with the Magpies for over six seasons, with Speed scoring 29 goals in over 200 appearances for the club.

His passing at 42 has been a hardship on Newcastle staff and players, many of whom knew Speed from his playing days, but when kick-off approaches, Pardew insists his side will be up for it.

"Our players will be desperate for us to win to pay a tribute in that way. We can't guarantee that, of course, but we are going to try," he told reporters.

"He was a great player here and a captain of this club, and he has been a big loss to us this week.

"The training ground has been heavy, particularly the first two days, because we had a lot of staff and players who don't just remember him as a great player, but as a great person, so it has been a difficult week.

"Even today, it was a little bit low, but hopefully by the time the game comes around, we can at least prepare ourselves mentally."