Blunt Pardew singles out just two players for praise

CRITICAL ... Alan Pardew looks on against Spurs.
CRITICAL ... Alan Pardew looks on against Spurs.

ALAN Pardew has always been reluctant to criticise his Newcastle United players in public – but he didn’t hold back after watching their embarrassing defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Pardew delivered a brief – and blunt – post-match assessment of last night’s 4-0 defeat at St James’s Park.

The 52-year-old wouldn’t elaborate on what he had said in the dressing room after the match, but he admitted it was simply not good enough for the club.

“I’m not really going to say too much in front of you guys (the media), other than to give a message to our fans to say that that wasn’t good enough,” said Pardew.

“And against Aston Villa (on February 23), we need to make sure it is good enough.”

Asked why he felt his team had been so poor, Pardew added: “For the first time, we looked a little bit unconfident, a little bit unsure what we were doing. We lacked energy in certain areas.

“I’m not going to elaborate on that.”

Asked if squad depth was a contributory factor, he said: “It was more than that. I made my views very clear in the dressing room. That’s where they will stay.”

Pardew hauled off full-back Davide Santon – who had been given a torrid time in the first half – at the break.

And he felt Paul Dummett – who replaced Santon – and right-back Mathieu Debuchy were the only two players who left the field with any “credit”.

Asked about Santon’s withdrawal, he said: “I thought we needed a left-footer down that side.

“I thought Dummett did well, actually, when he came on. He and Mathieu Debuchy were probably the only two players who came out with any credit, in my opinion.”

The victory was Tottenham’s first at St James’s Park since 2004.

And visiting manager Tim Sherwood said: “This is a difficult place to come – as our record suggests – but we silenced the crowd very, very early.

“We know how important this crowd can be to this football club, so if you keep them quiet, then it can have an adverse affect, and I think we achieved that tonight.”