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Cabella must toughen up in England, says Pardew

The manager of Newcastle has indicated Cabella may start on Sunday away to West Brom - his first in five games in the Premier League - due to injuries to Gabriel Obertan (thigh) and Rolando Aarons (hamstring).

But if the 24-year-old Frenchman is to thrive in England, Pardew concedes he must become tougher with the English manager revealing Cabella has yet to grasp how matches are refereed in the Premier League compared to Ligue 1.

"His conduct and professionalism are very, very impressive," Pardew said.

"That gives you heart that he's going to be a success. Obviously he's definitely got technical quality.

"He's got to get a grasp... I don't think he really gets referees. He goes down and he finds that some of the challenges in this division are not fouls.

"He genuinely believes that - but they're not."

Pardew added that, in an effort to toughen Cabella up, he has stopped awarding the former Montpellier winger free-kicks at training.

The 53-year-old tactician's comments come after Montpellier owner Louis Nicollin had flagged the possibility Cabella would struggle with the Premier League's physicality, just after the France international moved to St James' Park.

"He is frail, but he's hard to catch," Nicollin said.

Pardew added on Friday that apart from being tougher, he also wants Cabella to stay wide: "I think he's beginning to get the intensity of the division. The cameos he's done have been significant. Spurs [Tottenham], Liverpool, they were significant.

"He's on the cusp of starting again now as he comes to grips with what this division's about. It's about physicality and mentality, about where you should be on the pitch at a particular time.

"About how you can affect the opposition best.

"I think some of his play is too central. He needs to kind of open up the pitch a little bit at times."