ALAN Pardew says he’ll keep on rolling with the punches at Newcastle United.
Pardew came under renewed fire from supporters in the wake of the club’s Wear-Tyne derby defeat.
But Newcastle beat Chelsea on their return to Premier League action at the weekend to move up to ninth in the table.
And Pardew has told of his pride at United’s performance in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Jose Mourinho’s previously in-form side, which came just three days after an exhausting 120-minute Capital One Cup defeat to Manchester City at St James’s Park.
“I’m pleased,” Pardew told SportMail. “I’m so proud of the players.
“They deserved it. I’ve been in the game long enough for it to roll over me at times.
“I can take the punches, but it was great for the players. It was brilliant for the fans, and I thank them because they got involved and changed the game for us.”
Pardew’s tactics came under close scrutiny last season as the club fought to stay in the Premier League, but his gameplan against Chelsea worked.
After absorbing first-half pressure from their visitors, Newcastle took the game to them after the break, and goals from Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy gave United all three points.
Mourinho admitted United deserved to win the game, despite Chelsea’s first-half dominance.
And Pardew felt the performance backed up his assertion that the team has been playing well in recent weeks, even if all the results haven’t gone their way.
“I said on Thursday that the team’s been playing well, and I stand by that,” he added. “I was proven correct. I don’t always get proven correct, but I was proved correct (on Saturday).
“We’ve got honesty in the group and we’ve got quality.”
Pardew – whose side face fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday –feels Newcastle can “upset” any side in the division if they’re at their best.
“We’re not going to win the league, but we’re a team that can upset other teams,” he said. “We’ve done that.”
Meanwhile, striker Adam Armstrong and forward Haris Vuckic were on target for Newcastle’s Under-21s in their 6-2 defeat to Aston Villa at Burton last night.
Willie Donachie handed a England Under-16 international defender Kyle Cameron his reserves debut in the game.