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Pardew confident Newcastle's derby defeat will not end in disaster
NEWCASTLE UNITED manager Alan Pardew insists his players are strong enough to prevent yesterday's Wear-Tyne derby defeat to Sunderland from descending in to a full-blown crisis.
Pardew, critical of a refereeing decision in the build up to Sunderland's winner, suffered at the hands of the Black Cats for the second time since April at the Stadium of Light.
A brilliant goal from on-loan Liverpool forward Fabio Borini six minutes before the end sealed successive victories for Sunderland over their North-East neighbours with a 2-1 win.
Now Pardew aims to ensure there will not be any negative knock-on effects with Newcastle set to face Manchester City in the last-16 of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.
The Newcastle boss was reminded how his team followed up a 3-0 defeat to Sunderland in April by failing to win any of their next three games – including a 6-0 defeat to Liverpool – and that increased relegation concerns.
But Pardew, whose side also face Chelsea at St James' Park on Saturday, said: “I think we’ve got a group that’s experienced and I thought last time round, it's different to this. We’ve got a better group and I think we’ll bounce back. But we've got two tough games and we’ve got to make sure we’re solid because these are two or three games that are going to test us.
“I hope the fans will be supportive of us on Wednesday because it’s an important game for us and we want to try and get through in the league cup if we can and set us up nicely for Saturday. We’re very disappointed as you’d imagine. When you concede a goal in the 84th minute after you’ve bossed the game it’s tough to take.”
Newcastle had done well at the Stadium of Light to regain their composure after falling behind to a fifth minute opener from Steven Fletcher. Mathieu Debuchy, with his first since joining from Lille, slotted in the equaliser 11 minutes after half-time.
At that point Newcastle looked comfortable in possession without asking too many questions of the Sunderland defence. However, Borini delivered his moment of magic to seal the points for Sunderland.
But Pardew was angered play was allowed to get to the stage where the Italian could hit the winner.
He was confused when referee Lee Probert awarded a free-kick to Sunderland when Cheik Tiote clattered in to Fletcher near the touchline when there were claims the ball had already crossed the line for a throw-in.
Fletcher took a quick-free-kick. Jack Colback rolled a pass in to the path of Jozy Altidore, who laid-off for Borini to take control and fire in the winner.
Pardew said: “When we got the equaliser, the more the game went on, the more control we got. We had two or three good chances I thought at 1-1 and if we’d got the second goal, the game would have been over because they would have been dead.
“Unfortunately for us we didn’t get the second goal and the referee has played a part in this defeat because that was definitely not a free-kick in my opinion. The linesman has given a throw, the referee gave a foul and one or two of ours switched off.
“They certainly didn’t think it was a foul, my boys, and then they slipped through us and the one chance they’ve had second half they’ve smashed in. So it’s a real tough one for us to take.”
Despite hopes that Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor would have been fit to face Sunderland, neither were so inexperienced Paul Dummett had to slot in alongside Mike Williamson at the heart of the defence.
Dummett was outjumped by Fletcher for the first goal. Pardew said: “Steven got re-injured on Thursday and for Colo we are unsure whether he’s going to be OK for Wednesday. We’ve got to make sure he’s right for the Premier League and I think Chelsea is the next chance we can see him.
“To be fair to Dummett I thought he did well to come into that. There can be no slur on him. He performed well, they were obviously going to put pressure on us when they saw the line-up. I thought he coped well with it.
“When you’re 1-1 you’re vulnerable, we didn’t get that goal and therefore you’re always liable that you could lose the game. But I didn’t think we deserved to lose it form the state of play today, I really didn’t.
“I feel really disappointed for our fans, and for our team because I didn’t think they deserved that. They deserved to win. They just switched off. A little bit of professionalism has cost us.”
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