Carroll out of Toon but Pardew hoping for Gunners double

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is confident his players will put the furore surrounding Andy Carroll's £35m move to Liverpool to one side at they attempt to secure their top-flight status.

Fans have reacted angrily to the 22-year-old's departure for Anfield during the final hours of the January transfer window, with some blaming the club for allowing him to leave and others venting their fury on the player for turning his back on the Magpies.

Pardew, whose side host Arsenal today, said: "Unfortunately, it's one of those things that isn't going to go away for a long period, I shouldn't think.

"We have to deal with that and we have to cope with that. It's not about one player, of course, it's about Newcastle United and we have to be resilient, be strong in our minds that it isn't going to affect us.

"If we start thinking it will, then it most certainly is going to.

"But I just feel the emphasis of the team and the group is strong towards the club, and you will see that in the performance they put out.

"I have no doubt that we will do everything we can to try to beat a very, very good Arsenal team."

The mood on Tyneside was not helped in the immediate aftermath of Carroll's exit by captain Kevin Nolan, a boyhood Liverpool fan, conducting an interview with the Reds' official television station in which he spoke of his delight for his close friend.

Nolan, who will lead his side into battle against Arsenal at St James' Park, has since apologised for any offence caused, and insisted he remains committed to Newcastle.

He said: "I want to be here. I want to play for this club. If fans don't like what I said, I apologise.

"It was never meant to upset them, but Liverpool is a great club. I will say it again, everyone knows it.

"I am getting sick of the Andy Carroll saga. I want to put it to bed and get on with it.

"The last thing I want to do is start upsetting our fans. They have been brilliant all season, as they were last."

Pardew is equally keen to put the Carroll story behind him, to the extent that, asked how difficult the last week had been, he chose to interpret that as a question about Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat at Fulham.

He now faces the task of selecting and preparing a team to attempt an unlikely league double over the Gunners.

With Shola Ameobi awaiting surgery on a fractured cheekbone, he must do so with a frontline comprising Leon Best, Nile Ranger and Peter Lovenkrands, although he will at least be able to call upon Cheik Tiote, back after a ban.

Best and Ranger struggled to impose themselves at Fulham, and Pardew has told the former to relax if he is to rediscover the form which brought him a hat-trick against West Ham last month.

Pardew said: "If he gets back to what he did against West Ham, where he wanted to prove to everybody at Newcastle that he is good enough for the shirt, that's the mood we need him in."