Alan Pardew is bracing his Newcastle players for challenging times ahead.

After extending our unbeaten start to the season to nine Premier League matches following the 1-0 win against Wigan – Pards admits that the form has come as somewhat of a surprise but has also praised the quality of our squad.

Pardew told a press conference: “We appreciate that in the first nine games we’ve surprised even ourselves, but there are times you have to look at the side and say it must have quality in it to get 19 points.

“In three or four games people would say we were fortunate to win. We’ve had our share of luck, but there is also something else in this team that says we could have a good season.

“How big it is depends on results and how well we perform when adversity comes. We haven’t had that yet – we’ve had a settled side and we haven’t had the injuries and that helps.”