ALAN Pardew blamed Newcastle’s crushing defeat at St James’s Park to jubilant neighbours Sunderland on “a lack of composure” from his players.
And as well as the obvious factor of losing key players ahead of the game, the Newcastle manager speculated that Sunderland’s recent record in this fixture – having memorably won the last two encounters – heaped added pressure on United.
“I’m disappointed by the result and performance because I thought we lacked composure,” said Pardew.
“In terms of attitude and application, I thought the sides were pretty much even.
“But, in terms of possession, we were not and that all came down to comfort on the ball and precision in doing something with it.
“I felt the first goal was very important to both sides
“If we had got the first goal, the composure might have come to us but it didn’t; they got it and went on from there.”
Newcastle were, of course, missing the injured Fabricio Coloccini, the departed Yohan Cabaye and the suspended Loic Remy and Pardew says the latter was the biggest miss, following his red card at Carrow Road in midweek.
“It has been a tough week for us,” said Pardew.
“The decision at Norwich City still baffles me – I feel we lost Loic Remy through his opponent cheating and we lost Yohan Cabaye without replacing him, so it was always going to be a challenge.
“When you lose a player of Cabaye’s class, you want to place him. He didn’t arrive, so I have to accept that, look to go forward and make the best out of what we’ve got.
“But we really missed Remy in this game – he was a big loss in the game because our finishing lacked conviction and he does not lack conviction.”
Pardew pointed out that Newcastle’s season is hardly a disaster – they are still eighth – but accepted the killer blow losing the derby in this fashion would have on morale.
“We’ve lost one game,” he said.
“In terms of the league we are OK, but, in terms of the region, it’s a defeat hard to take and it will scar our season, just like it would have scarred Sunderland’s if they had lost.
“But there’s nothing I can do about it now. All I can do is prepare the team for next Saturday and and that’s what I will do.”
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