Pardew proud of Toon stars

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hailed a “magnificent effort” from

his 10-man team in their 1-1 Wear-Tyne derby draw at Sunderland on

Sunday.

The visitors went ahead after three minutes through Yohan

Cabaye, but they were on the back foot when Cheick Tiote was sent

off after 25 minutes.

The Magpies nearly held out, though, only for Demba Ba’s own

goal four minutes from time to earn Sunderland a point at the

Stadium of Light.

Pardew told Sky Sports: “It was a magnificent effort. We said to

the players before the game how important it was to the fans, we’ve

now shown how important it is to us.

“Playing an hour with 10 men, if we could have just seen it out

it would have been one of the greatest victories ever here. But

it’s a great point and I’m very proud of my players.”

Pardew likened Fabricio Coloccini to Bobby Moore after his fine

performance.

Pardew said: “Maybe if Coloccini had stayed on, he would have

seen that out. He was absolutely phenomenal today.

“If you want an example of a centre-half playing where you have

got to head it, kick it, cover people, get in the right position

and then have the calmness to play, that was your example.

“I come from a famous football club, West Ham, and that was like

watching Bobby Moore today. He was terrific.

“You have also got to understand – and it sometimes goes a

little bit under the radar – at the Premier League level, what is

asked of you physically.

“If we had had 11, I think he could have made the game, but

because we went down to 10, there was just too much work for him

and both calves tightened up.

“But what a performance, seriously, one of the best he has given

for me, for sure.”

Newcastle came within five minutes of claiming a second

successive victory in enemy territory after Yohan Cabaye had given

them a third-minute lead with a well-struck shot.

However, Tiote’s premature departure for a reckless challenge on

Steven Fletcher changed the game and although the Magpies defended

manfully, they were undone at the death when John O’Shea’s header

hit the unwitting Ba and flew past Krul.

Pardew had no complaints about the sending-off which left his

side facing an uphill task.

He said: “At first I didn’t think it was that bad, but looking

back at it again we can’t have any complaints. But what a response

from the rest of the group.”

Sunderland defender John O’Shea felt the hosts deserved a

point.

“I think so,” he said. “Newcastle have a good shape about them,

work hard on their shape with two banks of four and the big men up

front, so it was difficult, but we managed to get the goal.

“It was a great game to be involved in, both (sets of) players

wanted to win so much, It was vital not to lose the game.”

Sebastian Larsson admitted he was starting to lose hope before

the late leveller.

“When we had that much possession for so long we were starting

to doubt it maybe, but luckily we managed to get the equaliser.

“It would have been devastating to lose that game, all that

possession and not to get a goal would have been harsh.”

Sunderland have now won just one of the last 16 derbies, but

perhaps more worryingly, have tasted victory only once in the 15

Premier League matches they have played since March.

However, manager Martin O’Neill was relieved to have come away

with a point after a performance which for too long caused the 10

men too few problems.

He said: “Do you know what? When we equalised, it was one of the

best moments, it really was, and to be accompanied by that

noise…

“There’s an element of relief, but every derby game I have ever

been involved in either here or in Scotland, there has always been

an element of relief.

“In the second half, sheer pressure alone probably yielded us

the goal rather than anything flamboyantly brilliant.

“We got the goal and maybe had enough time them to go on and win

it, but in the circumstances with Newcastle being down to 10 men

and having defended so strongly, that would have been harsh.”