Saturday, 10 November 2012

Pardew delighted with Newcastle fightback

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is confident Europa League qualification is within their grasp following their 2-2 draw against Club Brugge.
Vurnon Anita and Shola Ameobi scored before half-time in Bruges to cancel out the Belgians' early 2-0 lead.

Despite stuttering early on, Pardew was full of praise for his side's fightback and the point gained sees Newcastle on top of Group D by a point from Bordeaux with two matches remaining.

"It was a terrific game, really open," Pardew told reporters. "They went at us and we went at them.

"But we gifted a goal and then another one which surprised me. We were creating chances, we should have scored. It was a great goal from Anita and another too from Shola.

"I am delighted. 2-0 down at Bruges is tough and they have pace in their team and are always a threat. I was pleased with all the individuals.

"We are in a strong position. We are looking to wrap the league up against Maritimo (at St James' Park on November 23)."

Newcastle did not leave the game unscathed however, after Cheick Tiote received a yellow card that will see him banned from the final game of the group, while James Perch was injured and is expected to be out for six weeks.

But there was enough to keep the 2600 travelling Newcastle faithful happy, and Pardew was full of praise for their support.

"It is affecting Cheikh and he protected himself by pulling out of some tackles," Pardew said. "He will have to serve this new suspension and come back roaring in the league.

"By all accounts our fans have conducted themselves well with good humour and I hope it stays like that. This is a good result."

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