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Pardew talks up Bale
Feb 09, 2013 3:41 PM GMT
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has praised Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale, claiming he is in the top 'five or six' players in the world.
The midfielder has scored three goals in his last three appearances for club and country, and Pardew is wary of the threat which he can pose ahead of their clash on Saturday.
"If anyone picked a World XI, you would have him in at left midfield, for sure. I can't think of anyone who would dislodge him from there," Pardew said.
"Gareth Bale is definitely among those top five or six players in the world I would say right now. That's the level he is playing at.
"There are not too many in the Premier League who could get in that team but he would be one of them."
However, while acknowledging that extra steps will have to be taken by the Magpies to contain the 23-year-old, he is also cautious of giving other Tottenham midfielders, such as Aaron Lennon and Mousa Dembele, more space in which to manoeuvre.
"I think what you have to do is make sure you contain him to the best of your ability and shape. But you can't take your eye off the fact they also have Dembele, Lennon, [Emmanuel] Adebayor - they have some really offensive players with great technical ability," he added.
"But we did pretty well against Oscar and Mata last weekend, so we can cope.
"Andre Villas-Boas has done a good job there. He's gone quietly about his business as he does, he's a very thorough coach, I've got a lot of admiration for him. I think they've got some fantastic players.
"Any away game is a test. We should win our home games. I don't care who the opposition are. Away games are much more difficult and this one, with no disrespect to Chelsea last week, is much more difficult."