Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Pardew finds cheer in stalemate

Alan Pardew

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew refused to be downhearted after seeing his side held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea.

The Magpies were dominant before the break as they hit the woodwork twice and went close to an opening goal on several more occasions. But the Welshmen held firm, particularly in the second half, to frustrate Pardew, his players and the majority of a crowd of 51,767.

However, the manager said: "I really can't complain too much about my side. We stopped them playing, which was the aim, to put them under pressure and force errors, which we did."

He added: "The first half was our better half, for sure. We got in behind and we created chances, we put balls into the box.

"But they haven't got seven clean sheets for nothing. There is a good spirit in the Swansea team and although they didn't keep possession like they would have liked today, they defended very, very well and the goalie looked strong."

Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers, who worked under Pardew at Reading, was understandably delighted with the result.

He said: "It was a fantastic performance from us today. It was always going to be a very difficult game coming here. Newcastle have had a terrific start to their season and with over 50,000 passionate Geordies, it's always a difficult place to come.

"But the players showed wonderful resilience today to get our eighth clean sheet in 16 games."

Before kick-off, the Magpies paid their respects to former midfielder Gary Speed, with his parents Roger and Carol and sons Ed and Tommy being joined on the pitch by close friends Alan Shearer, Steve Harper and John Carver.

Pardew said: "It was a chance for the Geordie folk to show their respect for Gary and their love for him, and they did that in a really magical way. It was hairs on the back of your neck stuff there, and I am sure his family were very, very pleased and happy with that."

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