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Pardew says thanks to Magpies youngsters
A RELIEVED Alan Pardew has paid tribute to a few of his young guns for delivering a 2-0 victory he feels could kick-start Newcastle United's season.
With pressure mounting around the Tyneside club as the end of the transfer window nears this Monday, the Magpies emerged from the Globe Arena with a place in the third round of the Capital One Cup last night.
And Pardew, whose side had not scored a goal in either of their opening two matches of the season, thinks avoiding a cup shock against League Two opposition could spark his team to life.
“I said to the players in there, the club owe a big thanks to Gael Bigirimana, Dan Gosling … to get us a win because it will raise everyone’s spirits in the first team,” said Pardew. “It’s now taken a bit of pressure off them to get the first win.
“If we win on Saturday against Fulham that’s an OK start for us because it would mean we had four points from three games and we’re in the next round of the cup.
“My old mate Brian McDermott is at Leeds – so I’m looking forward to welcoming him to St James’ Park more than he will be looking forward to coming to us in the next round. I’m relieved we’ve got a home tie. I think it’s the first one since I’ve been here!”
Pardew named a youthful, inexperienced side against Morecambe in the hope his team could still make it through to the next round – and they did.
And Newcastle struggled initially to deal with the approach of the Shrimps, who would have taken the lead had it not been for Gosling clearing two chances off the line and Rob Elliot making excellent saves.
But with extra-time looming – and both Shola Ameobi and Hatem Ben Arfa on the field – the Magpies found their way through the Morecambe net in front of 1,500 supporters.
Shola Ameobi struck the first when his long range strike deflected off Andy Parrish and rolled inside the bottom corner with six minutes left.
And then his younger brother Sammy, who Pardew claimed beforehand needed to shine this season to prolong his Newcastle career, delivered a neat second when Morecambe pushed on for the equaliser.
It was the first time the two Ameobis have scored in a competitive fixture together. Pardew said: “It will be a proud moment for the family.
“Shola has actually looked the best I’ve seen him pre-season. I think the Nigeria selection has given him a boost - I can see it in his eyes. He’s looking forward to the internationals coming up and that has benefited us.
He was terrific second half for us.
“And I thought Sammy put in a real good display offensively and defensively. We’ve had problems with him defensively in the past - I’ve never doubted his talent but he’s put it all together this pre-season.
“He was the difference between the two teams until Hatem Ben Arfa came on. He really opened the game up for us.”
Pardew will now focus on trying to prepare his players for Saturday's visit of Fulham, when he knows there could be further frustrations voiced from the fans about the lack of transfer activity.
The away section at the Globe Arena regularly chanted derogatory songs about director of football Joe Kinnear and the club's owner Mike Ashley following an unproductive summer on the transfer front.
Pardew is hoping there will be greater progress in the coming days, with Lyon's Bafetimbi Gomis and Wigan midfielder James McCarthy high in Kinnear's sights.
Newcastle are also hoping to avoid selling Yohan Cabaye, who missed his third game last night because his head is not right amid interest from Arsenal.
Pardew, linked with a cheeky inquiry for former striker Demba Ba who is available at Chelsea, was in no mood to talk transfers last night.
But the Newcastle boss was satisfied with the way his inexperienced group avoided a defeat to a Morecambe side intent on causing a shock against the Premier League opposition.
He said: “They were a second division team that were going to show us what they were about. Proper professionals who play the game for a livelihood and we had to stand up to that. I’m very pleased with the young players I put in.”
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