ALAN Pardew’s headbutt on David Meyler was NOT the talk of the dressing room after Newcastle United’s win at Hull City – it was Vurnon Anita’s first Premier League goal!
Anita got off the mark in last weekend’s Premier League 4-1 win at the KC Stadium.
The midfielder struck from close range in injury time after Paul Dummett put the ball across the face of goal.
Newcastle’s performance on Humberside was overshadowed by an altercation on the touchline between manager Pardew and Hull’s David Meyler.
And Pardew – who appeared to aim a headbutt at Meyler after the striker pushed him – was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association.
While Pardew’s actions have dominated the headlines since the fixture, there was only one topic in the dressing room after the game – Anita’s goal.
“As much as I was disappointed with what I did, the big talking point in the dressing room was Vurn actually scoring,” Pardew said.
“That was a nice moment for us all. Vurn’s playing very well for us.”
Anita’s only previous strike for the club he joined from Ajax in the summer of 2012 came in last season’s 2-2 Europa League draw against Club Brugge at the Jan Breydel Stadium.
Saturday’s result followed a hard-fought home win over Aston Villa. And back-to-back wins have left eighth-placed Newcastle within two points of Manchester United, in seventh, though David Moyes’s side have a game in hand.
Pardew’s team, without a game this weekend, return to action on March 15 when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage.
“They were two great performances in different ways,” said Pardew.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from my players (against Hull).
“They all got nine out of 10 for me. They were absolutely brilliant.”
l NEWCASTLE United’s Under-21s will take on Whitley Bay at Hillheads on March, 17 (7.30pm kick-off) in the semi-finals of the Northumberland Senior Cup.
United – who were drawn out of the hat first – have conceded home advantage due to “pitch availability”.
Newcastle beat North Shields 3-1 in the last round of the competition in December.
The other semi-final is being contested by Ashington and Blyth Spartans at Woodhorn Lane on March 18.