Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew hails ‘never-say-die’ attitude of his team during Tyne/Wear derby against Sunderland

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew (centre) celebrates their late equaliser in front of Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill (right).
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew (centre) celebrates their late equaliser in front of Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill (right).

A NEVER-say-die attitude and fighting spirit were vital to Newcastle United’s comeback against bitter rivals Sunderland.

The hosts were second-best for much of the opening 45 minutes, but after the break it was a different story.

And Newcastle boss Alan Pardew believes his side deserve a lot of credit for taking the game to the visitors in the second half, particularly given what was a stake.

“I think the fans should be very proud of the team,” he said.

“They sometimes don’t realise the pressure the players are under.

“They are playing in front of 54,000 people and were 1-0 down against a Sunderland side that weren’t giving an inch and were really being physical with us.”

Read more of Alan Pardew’s thoughts after a stormy Tyne/Wear derby, plus a full match report, in today’s Sportmail.