ALAN Pardew felt his team was “lacklustre” before the break at Stamford Bridge – with Newcastle United’s gruelling week having taken a toll on its players.
Pardew’s side were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea on Saturday.
And Pardew and his players had few complaints about the scoreline, such was the home side’s first-half dominance.
Instead, Pardew’s only complaint was the scheduling which saw the club play two games in three days, United having opened their Europa League campaign in Greece on Thursday night.
While disappointed at the result at Chelsea, Pardew felt the week, on balance, was positive for Newcastle.
“I think it has been a good week,” Pardew said. “The fixtures we had are tough, Saturday-Thursday-Saturday – I think we’ve done well.”
Pardew and his squad flew into London on Friday afternoon, and the travelling, clearly, took a toll on the squad, even though only two players – Vurnon Anita and Papiss Demba Cisse – played both games.
“I thought in the first half we looked a little bit lacklustre,” he added. “We lacked a bit of energy. I don’t really know why.
“In the second half we were 2-0 down, but showed character. We showed the confidence to try to get back in it.
“We had two big chances to try to get a goal and that might have made things different.
“I think we have to say we were second best and they are a good side.”