ALAN Pardew reached a landmark in his Newcastle United career at Villa Park – and his team marked it in style.
The club beat Aston Villa 2-1 last night in Pardew’s 100th game in charge of the club.
The relief of Pardew, the players and the club’s supporters was palpable at the final whistle, with first-half goals from Papiss Demba Cisse and Yohan Cabaye having been enough to secure three precious points despite a second-half bombardment from the home side.
“Ninety to 100 wasn’t particularly comfortable,” Pardew told the Gazette. “I enjoyed the first 80, and the 100th one was nice.
“It’s been tough on myself. I take it to heart when we don’t win – I’m a winner.
“We had a nice mood in the hotel, and even (assistant manager) John Carver was smiling at the end.”
Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran made their full debuts, while another of the club’s transfer window signings, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, came off the bench for his bow.
Emboldened by last week’s signings – and the result – Pardew is upbeat ahead of Saturday’s home game against Chelsea.
Asked if the match was a turning point in the club’s campaign, Pardew added: “Potentially, in terms of the season.
“We celebrated it like a cup final, because we built it up like a cup final.
“They’re all cup finals. We’ve still got a lot to do. This ain’t going to put all the wrongs right, but it’s a step in the right direction.
“The first half was almost like watching us last year.
“We had a grip of the game and played fantastic football. Let’s hope we can build on that.”