Newcastle can take heart from display, says Alan Pardew

TAKE HEART ... Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew.
TAKE HEART ... Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew.

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.”