ALAN Pardew’s hoping Sunderland can now secure their Premier League status – for the good of North-East football.
Newcastle United won their battle against relegation with a game to spare at Loftus Road yesterday.
First-half goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran saw Pardew’s side come from behind and beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1.
With Aston Villa having been beaten on Saturday, the result was enough to ensure another season of Premier League football at St James’s Park.
Sunderland, meanwhile, are not yet safe, though a win for Arsenal over FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow night would secure the club’s top-flight status.
While few tears would be shed on Tyneside if Paolo Di Canio’s side were relegated, Pardew wants the club to stay up.
Pardew has been under intense pressure since Newcastle’s 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby defeat late last month, and he wants the chance to put that result right next term.
“It was a great win for the football club, and a great win for the city,” Pardew told the Gazette
“It was a great win for the area too. Sunderland got a draw, and I hope they are safe. We want to play them next year.”
Meanwhile, Pardew left Loftus Road “aggrieved” at some of the decisions that could have cost his team against QPR.
Mathieu Debuchy’s foul on Junior Hoilett, which led to Loic Remy’s penalty, was committed outside the box, while he felt goalkeeper Rob Elliot, dismissed late in the game for a second bookable offence, hadn’t handled the ball outside his area.
“I was aggrieved about some decisions – especially the goalie,” said Pardew.
“You have to be right with those decisions. It was definitely a borderline decision. With 10 minutes to go of a game of that magnitude? Blimey, you can’t make that call, but he did.
“Luckily for us, we had Harps (substitute Steve Harper) who came on as if it was a Sunday afternoon, and he was going down the pub with his dog.
“That calmed everybody. It certainly calmed me down.”