ALAN Pardew felt Newcastle United’s fans were “outstanding” for the backing they gave their team - and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard.
The two sides fought out a 2-2 draw on a pulsating afternoon at St James’s Park on Saturday.
More than 500 supporters had marched to the stadium in protest at owner Mike Ashley’s “lack of ambition” before the match.
Whatever the misgivings of those fans - and others - about Ashley’s ownership, the home support wasn’t found wanting once the first ball was kicked.
And Gerrard - who last week led England to the World Cup finals - was applauded as he went to take two first-half corners in recognition for his international efforts.
“Actually, their honesty and sportsmanship - they clapped Steven Gerrard - and their support was outstanding,” Pardew said.
“What Newcastle fans want to see is attacking intent, a tackle, a resilience and flair.
“I thought we showed all those ingredients.
“Sometimes we show our love here in different ways.
“We can tease and be sarcastic in our support, but there was genuine love for Steven Gerrard because he’s got us to the World Cup with his captaincy.”
The game turned United defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s dismissal for pulling down Luis Suarez in the box late in the first half.
Gerrard cancelled out Yohan Cabaye’s stunning opening goal from the penalty spot.
Substitute Paul Dummett regained the lead early in the second half, but Daniel Sturridge claimed a point for the visitors with a 73rd-minute header.
While delighted with the performance of his side, Pardew was frustrated at losing Yanga-Mbiwa when his team were in a strong position.
“I was slightly disappointed,” said Pardew.”I thought it was even (before Yanga-Mbiwa’s sending off). We were perhaps shading it. We got the goal as well. It’s disappointing I didn’t see 90 minutes of that team.
“It would have been interesting to see the outcome of the game.
“It changed. We went down to 10 men. We had a bad break in terms of Cheik (Tiote) coming back from injury. He kept him (Suarez) onside.
“Then we had to show the other side - the side our fans at home perhaps haven’t seen so much of in the games this year and last year.
“Where’s the resilience? Where’s the character?
“Yet on the road, we have shown it at Villa and Cardiff.
“Our home fans haven’t seen that. They saw that it is there.
“If you put that in the mix of what we’ve got - your Hatems (Ben Arfa), your Remys (Loic) , your Cabayes - it bodes well. It bodes well to have strong performances.
“It was one of those games where we needed the crowd to help us, and they did.”