“This is just the start for us” – Alan Pardew
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admitted after Saturday’s game that he was ‘desperate’ for a result, as Newcastle edged a 1-0 win against Leicester at St James Park.
The win was the Magpies first of the season and sees them climb to within one point of the safety margin, but they still currently sit in 18th place in the Premier League table.
Gabriel Obertan scored the winner after 71 minutes with a low drive into the bottom corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal, after Newcastle had spurned several good chances to take the lead. Leicester boss Nigel Pearson was left frustrated with his side’s finishing, as they failed to win for a third successive game since their shock 5-3 defeat of Manchester United. Pardew was left to reflect on a difficult period for him and the club, with fans previously involved in heavy protests both inside and outside St James Park demanding his resignation.
The victory brought a relieved end to a nervous afternoon, which began in bizarre circumstances, with midfielder Cheick Tiote picking up an injury during the warm-up and kick-off being delayed by an hour due to a damaged big screen.
While many fans are still disillusioned with the current running of the club, Pardew was quick to stress that the win was just the beginning of a long road to recovery.
He said, “We need to take a step forward now. This is just the start for us to get up the league.”
Owner Mike Ashley reportedly entered the Newcastle dressing room after the match to congratulate the team and manager. He will have been wary of the pressure on him to sack the manager after such a long winless run in the league this year. But the victory may have bought Pardew enough time to restore morale in the camp, and if players such as Obertan can find their form to help take some of the weight off of talisman Pappis Cisse’s shoulders, the Magpies may be able to kick-start their campaign.
For now Alan Pardew will be grateful that he is still the boss and can prepare for tough upcoming fixtures against Tottenham and Liverpool. The win has given him some breathing space, but that will count for nothing if improved results do not follow.