Pardew put out by Potters loss

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway has criticised Arsenal manager

Arsene Wenger for his public interest in Wilfried Zaha.

Wenger admitted he was eyeing a move for the winger in the

knowledge that Theo Walcott could walk away from the Gunners on a

free transfer in the summer.

But Holloway, who only took over at Selhurst Park earlier this

month, is anxious not to lose the 20-year-old England international

in the transfer window and questioned Wenger’s comments.

“Why is he talking about my players? It’s not the game,” said

Holloway, quoted in The Sun.

“I will be picking up the phone to talk to him as I don’t think

it is right and proper with the greatest respect. That is totally

bad etiquette.

“Wilf is a big part of our season and we have such a strong

contract others can go and whistle.

“He won’t be available, no matter what the price is in

January.”

Crystal Palace are currently second in the Championship table,

just one point behind leaders Cardiff.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew felt his side deserved much better

after watching the Magpies slip to a fourth consecutive Barclays

Premier League defeat at Stoke last night.

The 2-1 defeat at the Britannia Stadium was the Magpies’ fourth

in a row, the first time the club have endured such a miserable run

since 2008 when they were relegated.

It looked like Newcastle would record a first away victory of

the season when Papiss Cisse put them in front two minutes into the

second half, and they were still ahead when the game entered the

final 10 minutes.

But in the 81st minute Cameron Jerome crossed for Jonathan

Walters to head in, and four minutes later two substitutes combined

as Kenwyne Jones set up Jerome for the winner.

Pardew said after the 2-1 loss: “Sometimes you have a game plan

and your players see it through to the letter and it’s pretty

galling to look them in the eye and say they’ve come away with

nothing, which I had to do.

“A couple of mistakes cost us the game, and we didn’t make many

mistakes. It’s a tough result for us to take.”

Pardew also felt his side should have had a second-half penalty

for handball, but he hopes the improved showing bodes well for

future games.

“That’s the sort of break you need when you’re on a run like

ours and we didn’t get it,” he said of the penalty shout.

“But I look at my team and it was such an improved performance.

There was real commitment, a good balance to the team, and, if

you’re going to get a victory, that’s the sort of performance

that’s going to lead you to one.”

Stoke had huffed and puffed without really looking like getting

back into the game until manager Tony Pulis introduced Jerome and

Michael Kightly midway through the second half, but he insisted the

credit should not be directed his way.

The Potters boss said: “I’ve always got this thing in the back

of my mind that when people say, ‘Oh, he’s made changes, he’s been

brilliant’.

“Why didn’t I start with Michael Kightly, why didn’t I start

with Cameron? That’s how brilliant I am.

“The lads have been fantastic, they’ve not played much this year

but the spirit has been very good and their commitment to the group

has been fantastic.”