VURNON Anita has insisted it was NOT difficult for Newcastle United’s players to cope with the atmosphere at St James’s Park on Saturday.
Fans turned on manager Alan Pardew and owner Mike Ashley during the 3-0 win against Cardiff City.
Many walked out in the 60th and 69th minutes in protest at the running of the club, while there were chants against Pardew and Ashley, who was not at the game.
The support was particularly vocal in the early stages of the second half, and Pardew afterwards said the atmosphere was “difficult” for his team.
However, Anita says the players simply focused on the job at hand, and feels the noise may have affected Cardiff more than the Magpies. He said: “The atmosphere wasn’t difficult for us, because we knew what we needed to do and just focused on that.
“I think the opposition was scared as well by all the noise, so it was OK for us.”
Newcastle’s 3-0 win was secured by goals from Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy and Steven Taylor, although there were some nervy moments for the home side.
However, they ultimately had too much for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Bluebirds, whose loss consigned them to relegation back to the Championship after a year in the Premier League.
The win was an important one for Newcastle, and ended a run of six successive league defeats for Pardew’s side.
It all but assured a top-half finish for United, who had come under pressure from Stoke City and Crystal Palace in recent weeks.
Anita felt it was important to send fans home with a smile on their faces after the final home game of the season – and he says Newcastle need to “build” on the victory heading into next season.
The midfielder added: “After the run of bad results, it was a good way to end the season at home.
“It was a good feeling for everyone and we must build on this.
“We knew there was pressure on us because we lost so many games and we needed to win again.
“We’re thankful that it happened (against Cardiff).”