Belfast Telegraph

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew pays Mike Ashley tribute as Magpies win

West Brom 0 - Newcastle 2

By Andrew Dixon

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has thanked club owner Mike Ashley for his show of faith after the Magpies recorded their fifth straight win.

Aoyze Perez's sublime opener and Fabricio Coloccini's header gave the visitors a comfortable 2-0 victory at West Brom yesterday.

Pardew looked to be on the brink of losing his job two months ago with fans calling for his sacking but has launched a revival to take them into the top eight of the Barclays Premier League.

Ashley had been quoted in The Independent at the end of September saying Pardew had one more game and if he lost at Stoke he would leave.

Ashley's lawyers maintained it was a tongue in cheek response, humouring a reporter, after the owner was approached on a night out in London.

Pardew survived and believes Ashley's support during a difficult start to the season has been key.

He said: "Everyone was pulling at him when we weren't winning and he stuck with me and was very supportive, especially after the Southampton game (a 4-0 defeat). You have to have that as a manager. It bought me just enough time.

"I particularly want to thank my staff. You need them to be loyal, especially when you are under fire. They trusted me and I feel the rewards and so do they."

Pardew started Perez with Papiss Cisse struggling with a knee injury and he now has three goals in his last three games.

His backheel flick opened the scoring just before the break and Pardew believes they have found a gem.

"He was courted by some big clubs, in particular Porto, and Porto don't sign anyone unless they are a good player," he said. "That underlined what we have seen and he has been a great buy.

"He genuinely loved the way we were so determined to bring him and 54,000 Geordies every week, the third biggest supported club in the country is a big magnet.

"He was highly regarded. We worked hard to bring him to the club. We thought his physicality could be an issue but he has such technical quality you hope it will see you through and it has. That goal was worthy of winning any game. It is difficult to play him on his own but he really worked hard."

In contrast, Saido Berahino was subdued just days after earning his first call up to the England senior side.

He was denied once by Tim Krul in the first half but faded as the Baggies failed to hit back following Perez's goal.

And West Brom head coach Alan Irvine admitted his eight-goal top scorer struggled to hit his previous levels.

"He probably had his poorest game but people have poor games," he said.

"Everybody, including myself, will probably go away asking 'Is it because of what has just happened to him during the week?'

"But of course you can have a poor game any time."

Belfast Telegraph


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