Pardew: Ashley deserves respect

On the day that managing director Derek Llambias predicted the

Magpies would break even during the current financial year after

overturning huge operating losses, Pardew’s team survived the

sternest test yet of their right to be in the Premier League’s top

four. Newcastle twice had to come from behind to deny Tottenham a

fifth successive league win, and it was Shola Ameobi who came from

the bench to snatch a point which extended their start without a

defeat to 10 games in all competitions with four minutes remaining.

The Toon Army left St James’ Park in celebratory mood after an

enthralling contest, and Pardew urged Ashley’s doubters to cut him

some slack. He said: “I am hoping the owner is starting to get a

little bit more respect. “I don’t think we are ever going to win

everybody over for Mike and Derek and maybe even myself, but at

least you can logically look at it and say we are in a much better

position than most Premier League clubs in terms of our financial

position. “We have an owner who doesn’t want to go away. He wants

to invest in the team, but he wants to do it in the right manner.

“We are working really hard, my scouting team and my staff, to try

to bring in the best players we can on the finances we have.

“[Chief scout] Graham Carr, myself, [assistant manager] John

Carver, we have assembled what we think is a team that is better

than last year’s. “That’s all we are at the minute, and let’s hope

we can improve from there.” A pulsating encounter really caught

alight five minutes before the break when Rafael van der Vaart put

the visitors ahead from the penalty spot. Steven Taylor was was

penalised for a foul on Emmanuel Adebayor as he burst into the

penalty area – he protested at the time but later admitted referee

Lee Probert had been right – and van der Vaart exacted full revenge

from the spot. But Newcastle emerged for the second half in

determined mood and got themselves back on terms within three

minutes when Demba Ba turned Jonas Gutierrez’s cross past Brad

Friedel for his fifth goal in three games. Ultimately, it would be

two substitutes who would take centre stage in a breathless

conclusion to the game with Jermain Defoe blasting Spurs into the

lead with 68 minutes gone before Ameobi arrived to snatch a point

four minutes from time with an equally impressive finish. Pardew

said: “We deserved something and it was important for the stadium

and the fans because they could have gone away and thought, ‘Well,

perhaps we are a bit short’. “We ain’t short. Maybe we might

surprise everybody and maybe we might surprise ourselves.” For

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, there was disappointment that his

side had not managed to hang onto their lead in a whirlwind finish.

He said: “When you are 2-1 up with minutes to go, you are looking

to win the game, for sure, so it becomes disappointing. “Last year,

we came here and we were losing with a couple of minutes to go and

we grabbed an equaliser, so you are delighted. “But when you are

winning so late in the game, you are really looking to make sure

you get the three points if you can.” To make matters worse, Spurs

lost skipper Ledley King to an abductor muscle injury before the

break, and he now faces several weeks on the sidelines. Redknapp

said: “He is just a fantastic player, but his knee blows up like a

balloon every time he plays, so he can’t train. “He plays on

Saturday and he comes out the following Friday and has a little jog

around for five minutes and then plays on a Saturday, so really his

body is nowhere near fit. “It can’t be, so he is always open to

pulling muscles, getting strains, and that’s what has happened.”