Pardew takes heart from Stoke performance

FIGHTING SPIRIT ... Stoke City's Peter Crouch (left) and Newcastle United's Jonas Gutierrez battle for the ball.
FIGHTING SPIRIT ... Stoke City's Peter Crouch (left) and Newcastle United's Jonas Gutierrez battle for the ball.

ALAN Pardew saw welcome signs of life from his Newcastle United side at the Britannia Stadium – even though the club’s visit to the Potteries ended in defeat.

Stoke City claimed a 2-1 win thanks to late goals from Jonathan Walters and Cameron Jerome.

Newcastle had looked to be heading for a welcome win thanks to Papiss Demba Cisse’s 47th-minute goal.

But a late collapse condemned the club to a fourth successive Premier League loss.

And the result left the club just two points above the relegation zone.

However, spirited United controlled much of the game, and Pardew’s hopeful his players can build on that performance when they take on Wigan Athletic at St James’s Park on Monday.

“I think that the spirit has been questioned, and the commitment of some of the players,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“But we showed that’s not true.

“Now we need a win. We’ve lots of games left.

“In the short term, we can take the performance in good heart, and take some good confidence from it.

“Hopefully, we can take that into Monday night.”

The result at the Britannia Stadium was all the harder to take given the team’s performance, which contrasted sharply to the abject showing in Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Southampton.

“It’s just so tough to take,” added Pardew.

“Some of the defeats we’ve had, we haven’t played well.

“Southampton, I’d like to think was rock bottom. It was a huge improvement, and our fans registered that – they saw that.

“But it’s difficult for the fans and the staff to take.”