Alan Pardew thanks NUFC fans for positive reaction to derby defeat

ON THE BALL ... Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew throws the ball back onto the pitch from the touchline.
ON THE BALL ... Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew throws the ball back onto the pitch from the touchline.

ALAN Pardew says his beleaguered Newcastle United side were given a welcome lift before a ball was kicked at The Hawthorns – by the club’s fans.

The players were unsure of the reception they would get when they went out to warm up on Saturday, with feelings still running high after the Tyne-Wear derby defeat.

Emotions were running high on Tyneside in the run up to the match in the wake of the Sunderland game.

All week Pardew had come under fire from angry supporters.

But his players were applauded out of the tunnel backed for 90 minutes against West Bromwich Albion, who came from behind to deny United a point.

“Our fans behind the goal gave us a boost before the game,” Pardew told SportMail.

“Their response was terrific, and I really want to thank them for that.

“It was an important moment for the season, and an important moment going forward.

“It would have been easy for them to come to West Brom and be ready to criticise us or be negative, but they weren’t and that helped us.”

Pardew admits it had been a tough week at the training ground as players and fans alike digested what had happened against Sunderland.

“We had to lift each other as we were all terribly disappointed with that performance,” he added. “The scoreline even more so.

“We can look at a lot of facts in that game but when they smash two in the top corner it is very difficult to respond to it when you are tired and mentally tired.

“All of the talk in the week was going to mean nothing to us.

“Saying this or that meant nothing – it was always about our performance.”