Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hails team’s performance

PLEASED ... Alan Pardew.
PLEASED ... Alan Pardew.

ALAN Pardew felt his Newcastle United’s team’s first-half performance against Cardiff City was as good as any during his tenure.

Pardew’s side won 2-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday thanks to two goals from Loic Remy.

Hatem Ben Arfa was left out of the starting XI in a controversial move.

Many fans felt Ben Arfa – who almost single-handedly won games against Aston Villa and Fulham for Newcastle – should have kept his place despite a dip in form.

But Pardew, under intense pressure after back to back defeats, left him and in-form midfielder Vurnon Anita out of his starting XI.

And United side he fielded took the game to Cardiff and led 2-0 at the break.

“We didn’t shore the team up,” Pardew, pictured, told the Gazette. “We put a very offensive team out.

“First half was as good a performance as I’ve seen as a manager, if I’m honest.

“Not only did we really attack well, but we were locked in at the back. I was a little bit disappointed we hadn’t scored before we did.”

Cardiff fought back in the second half, and Peter Odemwingie’s 58th-minute goal gave them hope of taking something from the game.

However, they found Newcastle in a resolute mood, with the side’s defensive showing in stark contrast to that in the first half against Everton at Goodison Park a week ago.

“The team was terrific,” added Pardew.

“In the second half, as you’d expect when they were kicking down their end, we showed the other side, which I don’t think we’ve done well this year.

“When Man City had a period, we weren’t resilient enough. When Everton had that period in the first half, we weren’t resilient enough.

“Yet we were. That was probably more important than anything else, that we saw the game out.”

The victory means United already have as many away wins – two – as they recorded last season.

“Hopefully, we can improve on that (away record last season),” said Pardew.