ALAN Pardew says Newcastle United have taken heart from their performance against Manchester City.
Newcastle suffered a sixth defeat in seven Premier League games at St James’s Park on Saturday.
Roberto Mancini’s Premier League champions ran out 3-1 winners, and United remain just two points above the relegation zone.
However, Newcastle were applauded off the pitch after a gutsy second-half performance, which saw them pull the score back to 2-1 thanks to Demba Ba’s 11th goal of the season.
And Pardew’s adamant that the performance bodes well for Saturday’s home game against Queens Park Rangers, a fixture his team simply must win ahead of tough away games against Manchester United and Arsenal.
“I was buoyed by the game, I really was.” Pardew told the Gazette.
“I’m not just saying that. I thought our fans were terrific – they gave us the benefit of the doubt.
“We were playing the champions, so a stray pass wasn’t really reacted to. But it might be against QPR, and that’s not what we’ll need. We’ll be nervous, trust me.”
Papiss Demba Cisse forced a save from Joe Hart before Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in the 10th minute. City went on to dominate the half, with Javi Garcia heading a second goal before the break.
However, Ba gave Newcastle hope, and chances came and went for Pardew’s side before the outstanding Yaya Toure netted a third for the visitors.
“We started well, and could have gone in the lead,” said Pardew. “There were two great saves from Hart.
“Then they had a golden 20 minutes, when I don’t care who they were playing against – they’d have caused anyone problems.
“They caused us problems. We got away with a couple of situations, but they got the goal, and then a soft goal.
“That’s what’s killing us at the minute – soft goals.
“You then think at half time ‘this is difficult – we’re 2-0 down against the champions’. But we got the team in the right frame of mind for it. The fans got behind us, and we gave them a lift.
“They gave us a lift, and we had two big chances for 2-2. I will rue those two chances – even in three years time.
“Then they go to a back five and they’re just going to hold on. Can we get the goal?
“Unfortunately we conceded a third goal from the first real threat they had in the second half.
“That’s really the season we’re having. On another day, we’d have got away with that. We gave a good account of ourselves, but no points.”