ALAN Pardew was in philosophical mood, despite seeing victory snatched from Newcastle’s grasp in the dying seconds of yesterday’s Wear-Tyne derby
Sir Bobby Robson, one of Pardew’s predecessor as Magpie manager. would have been inconsolable in similar circumstances – grey at the thought of being robbed of a famous win.
But as a Londoner through and through, Pardew wasn’t influenced by the emotional baggage of the Stadium of Light showdown – just the fact that his team had been denied a win they deserved..
“I’m disappointed,” he admitted. “I thought my players had a good mentality – we started fast, playing on the front foot and we put two strikers up front in a bid to try taking the game to them.
“The first half was a bit huff and puff from both sides – typical derby stuff.
“But, second half, I was really pleased with us – we controlled the game and got a goal and our fans were loving it.
“I think what cost us was the extra time added on – which I though was a bit harsh – it gave Sunderland fans a lift, we made a couple of errors and they got a goal.
“But what I think summed it up for me was that it felt like a defeat in the dressing room afterwards.
“I had to remind the players that we’ve taken an away point from a team which is higher than us in the table and we should be happy with that.”
Pardew relished the derby atmosphere and was pleased that – with four points out of six – Newcastle had emerged as the North East’s top dogs in the battle between the two sides.
“I enjoyed the game,” he added. “I enjoy that sort of atmosphere and you could see the value of experienced players for us.
“The performance of the team was excellent and we also came within a whisker of making it three clean sheets in the Premier League, which is no mean feat.
“It was a game we controlled for large periods – we had a great attitude, we passed the ball better than them and we could have scored a second goal on the break a couple of times, but at the end we started to get tired.
“In the second half, we were the better team and it was a shame we couldn’t have got that second goal.”
Pardew left the Stadium of Light convinced his side would have taken all three points were it not for a psychologically important five minutes time added on.
“I thought it was too much,” he mused. “I thought it should have been three or four minutes, but when you see the number five go up, it gives the crowd a great lift.
“We had killed the stadium off up until that point, but that gave them hope and it carried them towards that equaliser.”