Bolasie buoyed by African adventure
Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie returned from a "dream come true" at the African Nations Cup to prevent Alan Pardew's Newcastle reunion turning into a nightmare.
The 25-year-old has been in scintillating form this season for the Eagles but missed their last six games as he helped the Democratic Republic of Congo to a third-place finish at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
Pardew had been without Bolasie since leaving Newcastle to take over at Selhurst Park but resisted the temptation to throw him straight into his starting line-up - turning to him only as his side searched to cancel out Papiss Cisse's first-half header for the visitors.
And Bolasie had a near-immediate impact as he swung in a perfect cross for fellow substitute Fraizer Campbell to sweep home an equaliser as Pardew's first meeting with former club Newcastle ended in stalemate.
"I think it's a dream come true for myself, I couldn't have imagined anything better to be honest," Bolasie said of his African Nations Cup experience.
"It was a big achievement for myself and my country to finish third over there, we didn't expect that. I don't think a draw (with Newcastle) was a fair result, I think we could have won it. I think Newcastle hit us when we weren't expecting it but we've come back into the game and we had it covered and had a couple of chances to win it."
Campbell's leveller was his first goal since October and the former Sunderland striker was full of praise for Bolasie's cameo - as he acknowledged the strength in depth now present in Pardew's ranks.
"Yannick is that type of player, he gets the fans excited and they expect a lot of him but today he's produced for them," Campbell told Palace's official website.
"I noticed before the game that we had quite a lot of fire-power on the bench so we've got some great players and the pitch as well as even better ones on the bench too."
Campbell has not started since Boxing Day but enjoyed another outing from the bench and is hoping to be involved in the FA Cup fifth-round clash with Liverpool on Saturday evening.
"It's always nice to be on the pitch, the team have been doing so well of late it's been hard to get minutes on the pitch," he added.
"It was great to play but disappointed we didn't take all three points I think it helps if you can help the team in a number of position, I would prefer playing up front but I don't mind doing a job for the team.
"We've now got another game in quick succession so it's important that we recover and rest up and get ready for that game. I've not played for a while so I'll have a few days of running around and get some acid out of my legs."
One sour note from the game came as Newcastle's players celebrated their opening goal in front of Palace's fans in the Holmesdale Road stand.
Magpies' skipper Fabricio Coloccini was struck by an object thrown by a fan, with both Pardew and Newcastle boss John Carver calling for the culprit to be found.
And the Football Association confirmed on Thursday that Palace will not face disciplinary action for the incident and will assist the club in identifying who threw what appeared to be a coin which Carver claimed came within an inch of blinding the Argentinian defender.
Carver has overseen just one win since replacing Pardew at the helm but has been backed by full-back Daryl Janmaat to take the club forward.
"John is doing a good job," Janmaat said.
"He is making everyone sharp. We like him as a coach. For him as a trainer it is nice for him to get the results. We have shown we can lose to any team in the Premier League, but we have shown we can also defeat any Premier League team this year.
"It is a very strange year so anything can happen. We just have to go there and try to return with a win to try to get us in the top 10."
Carver confirmed he will give his squad the weekend off as they are not involved in FA Cup action - with their next game coming at the home reigning champions Manchester City on February 21.