Newcastle boss sticking with principles

Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew
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ALAN Pardew says he will stand by his principles as manager of Newcastle United.

Pardew’s side ended a club-record run of six Premier League defeats on Saturday by beating Cardiff City at St James’s Park.

He again left out fans’ favourite Hatem Ben Arfa, who last week lifted the lid on his frustration at a lack of first-team opportunities.

Newcastle fans again chanted for Pardew to be sacked during the game, which saw Cardiff relegated and ninth-placed Newcastle all but guarantee a top-10 finish.

And thousands of supporters also walked out in the 60th and 69th minutes in protest at Pardew and club owner Mike Ashley.

Fans also sung Ben Arfa’s name intermittently, but Pardew won’t deviate from what he feels is right for the team.

“I’ve had to stand by the principles I stand by as a manager these last few weeks,” Pardew said.

“That was a solid, team performance led by the captain (Fabricio Coloccini). I thought he was magnificent, as was the goalie (Tim Krul). We needed them.”

Asked about Ben Arfa, he added: “The most important thing is the team won. I don’t really want to focus on any particular player who wasn’t involved in the game.”

The 52-year-old was braced for a challenging afternoon on and off the pitch for him and his team.

“We talked about how difficult the environment was going to be, and that we needed to accept that and make sure that we did our very, very best to counteract that,” he said.

Pardew didn’t join his players on a lap of the pitch to thank those fans left inside the stadium after the game.

“I clapped before I went off, but again, I didn’t want to make an issue or a problem,” he said.

Newcastle were fortunate not to be behind with just six minutes gone when Krul’s weak punch fell to striker Fraizer Campbell on the edge of the box, and he steered his effort wastefully wide.

But it was opposite number David Marshall who kept his side in the game as the hosts hit back.

He produced two fine saves within seconds to keep out full-back Mathieu Debuchy’s well-struck 16th-minute shot and then his bullet header from the resulting corner.

However, he was left helpless with 18 minutes gone when Moussa Sissoko crossed from the right for Ameobi, who had pulled away from marker Steven Caulker, to head firmly home.

Newcastle looked as if they might run riot, with Sissoko seeing a shot and then a cross deflected against the woodwork, while Cheick Tiote drilled an effort wide after a flowing move.

But in the meantime, the visitors might have got themselves back into the game as Wilfried Zaha made his mark.

The winger, who had started on the right, decided to try his luck on the opposite flank and tricked his way past Debuchy before firing in a 29th-minute shot which Krul blocked instinctively with his trailing leg.

Sub Craig Bellamy made an impact as he gave the visitors greater impetus going forward in the second half, and his pass to Campbell allowed him to send in a right-wing cross which floated across goal and just wide of the far post.

Central defender Mike Williamson saw a 57th-minute shot deflected wide as Newcastle responded, but the flow of play was largely towards his goal, although with the Bluebirds unable to find any kind of cutting edge.

But they might have been back in the game with 14 minutes remaining when Jordon Mutch headed down for substitute Kenwyne Jones to poke the ball towards goal, only for Krul to block. And when the Dutchman spilled Bellamy’s cross seconds later, Gunnarsson’s effort was smuggled away by Coloccini.

But Cardiff’s fate was sealed at the death as Remy tapped home after Tiote’s 87th-minute shot had been blocked into his path, and Steven Taylor completed the scoring in injury time when he stabbed home from Remy’s knock-down.

Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett (Haidara 46), Sissoko, Tiote, Anita (Steven Taylor 79), Gouffran (Gosling 70), Remy, Shola Ameobi. Subs Not Used: Yanga-Mbiwa, De Jong, Elliot, Armstrong. Booked: Debuchy. Goals: Shola Ameobi 18, Remy 87, Steven Taylor 90.

Cardiff: Marshall, Da Silva (Eikrem 86), Caulker, Turner, John, Zaha, Mutch, Whittingham, Kim (Bellamy 46), Gunnarsson, Campbell (Jones 73).Subs Not Used: Cowie, McNaughton, Lewis, Berget.

Att: 50,239 Ref: Martin Atkinson.