Newcastle v Swansea reaction

The Magpies were dominant before the break as they hit the woodwork

twice and went close to an opening goal on several more occasions.

But the Welshmen held firm, particularly in the second half, to

frustrate Pardew, his players and the majority of a crowd of

51,767. However, the manager said: “I really can’t complain too

much about my side. We stopped them playing, which was the aim, to

put them under pressure and force errors, which we did. “The first

half was our better half, for sure. We got in behind and we created

chances, we put balls into the box. “But they haven’t got seven

clean sheets for nothing. There is a good spirit in the Swansea

team and although they didn’t keep possession like they would have

liked, they defended very, very well and the goalie looked strong.

“Everything we tried to do, they seemed to have an answer. But

having said that, with a little break here and there, we would have

got the goal and I think we would have won this game. “But overall,

I’m actually not that disappointed. I thought we played well.”

Newcastle might have had the points wrapped up before half-time

after they ripped into Swansea in a bid to end their four-game wait

for a Premier League win. Returning skipper Fabricio Coloccini hit

the post with a 19th-minute diving header, and Demba Ba was denied

by an upright four minutes later with keeper Michel Vorm beaten on

both occasions. However, the Dutchman pulled off a fine 42nd-minute

save to keep out Ba’s well-struck volley and was relieved to see

Jonas Gutierrez’s piledriver fly inches wide two minutes later. The

Magpies piled on the pressure after the break, but rarely to the

same effect, and had Scott Sinclair not scuffed a 74th-minute

effort across goal, the visitors might even have left Tyneside with

all the points. Newcastle still have a chance to reach the 30-point

mark, Pardew’s target for Christmas Day, when West Brom arrive on

Tyneside on Wednesday evening, and the manager is convinced there

will be no need to lift his players. He said: “We played well, in

my opinion. We looked a strong side and on another afternoon, if

one of those had gone in in the first half, we could sitting here

saying a very different story.” Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers, who

worked under Pardew at Reading, was understandably delighted with

the result. He said: “It was a fantastic performance from us. It

was always going to be a very difficult game coming here.

“Newcastle have had a terrific start to their season and with over

50,000 passionate Geordies, it’s always a difficult place to come.

“But the players showed wonderful resilience today to get our

eighth clean sheet in 16 games.” Before kick-off, the Magpies paid

their respects to former midfielder Gary Speed, with his parents

Roger and Carol and sons Ed and Tommy being joined on the pitch by

close friends Alan Shearer, Steve Harper and John Carver. Pardew

said: “It was a chance for the Geordie folk to show their respect

for Gary and their love for him, and they did that in a really

magical way. “It was hairs on the back of your neck stuff there,

and I am sure his family were very, very pleased and happy with

that.” Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones led the crowd in a rendition

of the hymn Bread of Heaven in a tribute which was also appreciated

by the Swansea contingent. Rodgers said: “Roger and his family will

never forget that. It was a lovely touch by Newcastle and

congratulations to them.” Meanwhile, Pardew declined to comment on

reports that Sochaux striker Modibo Maiga’s proposed move to

Newcastle has been scuppered by a failed medical.