Pardew hails under-pressure players

JOY ... Alan Pardew celebrates Newcastle's second goal against Wigan.
JOY ... Alan Pardew celebrates Newcastle's second goal against Wigan.

ALAN Pardew “applauded” his Newcastle United players after they recorded their biggest Premier League win of the season – and pulled away from relegation trouble.

Pardew’s injury-hit side beat Wigan Athletic 3-0 last night to move five points clear of the bottom three.

Two goals from leading scorer Demba Ba and another from substitute Gael Bigirimana lifted the gloom among fans ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League group stage game at Bordeaux.

The result ended a run of four successive domestic defeats.

And Pardew, without a clutch of key players because of injury, was delighted with the character shown by his team amid intense pressure on Tyneside.

“We were under pressure,” Pardew told the Gazette. “Our players had to stand up that, and they did.

“They should be applauded for that.”

Newcastle got off to a flying start, with Ba netting from the spot in the 13th minute after Maynor Figueroa was adjudged to have bundled over Papiss Demba Cisse in the box.

Figueroa was dismissed, and United never looked back.

“Confidence is important,” added Pardew. “Whatever level of football you play at, everybody needs confidence.

“It doesn’t matter what team you are. Look at Chelsea and Arsenal, and look at Everton. Everybody’s demanding so much of teams.

“It wasn’t one of my biggest wins, but it was important.

“We have had bigger victories and turned over bigger clubs, but we have had to do a job. We did it very, very well.

“It was a massive victory for us, and I’m very proud of my staff and my players because we have had to stand tall.

“Four defeats in this city isn’t easy for any team, I don’t think. There was a lot of pressure on us.

“We were positive, we wouldn’t let Wigan play, we wouldn’t let them settle and we got our reward for that.”