NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew insisted after yesterday’s derby that he would not be spending the night dreaming of what might have been and cursing his luck at Sunderland’s late equaliser.
“I won’t regret that we haven’t won the game,” he shrugged.
“I knew that last five or 10 minutes was always going to be tough for us and I was just glad we didn’t concede a second.
“Sunderland went away with the credit when they played at our place last season, even though we got the late goal.
“And I think this season it has been the opposite – we go away with the credit, even though they’ve got an equaliser late on.
“I’m so proud of the players.
“And, yeah, I’m disappointed we didn’t take all three points, but I can’t take any negatives from this game, only positives.
“I thought the whole game was a great day for us on the football side.
“As a group, we were back on song.
“We got a goal at a good time, were the better team when it was 11 against 11, and we looked in good fettle generally.
“We’d spoken in the dressing room before the game about showing our fans how much it meant to us as well as them.
“And afterwards we’ve talked about really kicking on in the wake of that performance because it showed just what a great team spirit we have at the club.
“We’ve now got Bruges and West Brom in our next couple of matches and we have to win those games.”
The dismissal of Cheick Tiote with just 25 minutes on the clock could have changed the game dramatically in Sunderland, but it did not.
Nevertheless, Pardew questioned whether referee Martin Atkinson could have confidently flashed the red.
“I think there’s no doubt that Cheick has not tried to ‘do’ the player – he was just late,” said Pardew.
“But it was deemed a red by the referee.
“I think the fourth official had a part to play in that incident because I think Martin was behind the incident.”