ALAN Pardew’s hopeful Newcastle United’s attacking performance against Fulham is a sign of things to come.
Pardew felt his team had an fluency the second half of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Fulham which had been absent since Demba Ba’s January departure.
After an closely-fought first half, United took the game to Martin Jol’s side after the break.
And they created chance after chance until Hatem Ben Arfa finally broke the deadlock in the 86th minute with a stunning left-footed goal.
Summer loan signing Loic Remy – who came off the bench – found Ben Arfa for the strike.
“The most important thing for our fans was actually our offensive play,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“We were a bit nervous in the first half, but after that we really showed we’ve got the power we had two years ago.
“I don’t think we’ve had that kind of threat, if I’m honest, since Demba left.
“I think it was the first time I felt that from the bench.
“I honestly felt I had enough weapons. I haven’t had that since Demba left in January.”
Ben Arfa’s strike ended a 411-minute goal drought dating back to Yoan Gouffran’s strike at Loftus Road.
“It was important,” added Pardew. “Scoring the first goal was beginning to hang around our neck.
“But I genuinely thought we were terrific in the second half. I thought we should have scored before then.
“Gouff missed a header, and Papiss (Cisse) hit the bar. We were building up a head of steam. It was still a real relief when it went in. I was pleased for our fans.”
The win followed Newcastle’s 2-0 Capital Cup win over Morecambe in midweek.
Pardew said: “You look at us last week, and I thought it was a great week for us.
“Our understudies – the ones who played – did very well at Morecambe. We finished three games really strongly, and we got three clean sheets.
“After Man City (a 4-0 defeat), I think that’s pretty impressive if I’m honest. Four points, and suddenly we can look up the league.”