Premier League

Pardew hails French influence

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Sun, 24 Feb 2013 19:24:00

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew hailed the influence of his new French contingent after his side defeated Southampton 4-2 at St James' Park.

It was France day in the North East, with supporters wearing blue to laud the arrival of a string of players from the nation but the celebratory mood was short-lived when Morgan Schneiderlin had given the Saints an early lead.

However, after Rickie Lambert had cancelled out Papiss Cisse's wonder-strike, a Yohan Cabaye penalty, and Jos Hooiveld own goal put the Toon Army back in party spirits.

Pardew, who enjoyed the victory against one of his former clubs, saved special praise for the club's new arrivals from across The Channel.

"The French players were terrific," he told Sky Sports.

"The English players were very good, too. But the new arrivals have put us in good shape.

"Six weeks ago we certainly wouldn't have beaten Southampton. But now we look like a different team."

The former Saints boss reserved special praise for Mathieu Debuchy, the first of the Magpie's recent influx of French imports.

"Debuchy was absolutely magnificent," he told Sky Sports.

"That is why we tracked him for so long, as we didn't want to miss out on a talent like that."

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