Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew admits he will rest players for their FA Cup tie with Brighton.

Toon, who travel to Brighton in the fourth round today, sit sixth in the Prem table after defying the critics with their outstanding early-season form.

Boss Pards said: "A few years ago I rested players in the league ahead of a cup game at West Ham and got huge criticism for it.

"We were due to play Middlesbrough after a Saturday game and I rested six or seven players against Spurs who beat us handsomely.

"I wasn't too popular in the East End at the time but then we won the cup game and I was popular again - so it's something I'd consider again.

"It's all about prioritising what's important. I sympathise with the teams near the relegation zone when the cup comes round because the financial impact is such that you have to focus on the league.

"You have to adjust to where you are, it's horses for courses. For us, after the league, the cup's the second biggest competition we can win. It levels the playing field and gives us an opportunity of winning a trophy and also getting into Europe - so I can't stress enough its importance."