Alan Pardew admits he is facing a “testing” fortnight after becoming the first Newcastle manager to suffer back-to-back derby defeats since 1967.
Pardew was condemned to another derby loss after a late Fabio Borini drive tilted the Stadium of Light encounter in Sunderland’s favour, and he admitted it was a “tough one” to take.
The Journal was stopped from asking questions of Pardew as part of a ban that Newcastle have imposed on all of the newspapers in the ncjMedia stable, in response to the Chronicle’s coverage of the march against Mike Ashley last weekend.
But he is facing plenty of questions as Newcastle head into games against Manchester City on Wednesday, before they take on Chelsea in Saturday’s noon kick-off.
Pardew blamed referee Lee Probert for penalising a Cheick Tiote foul on Steven Fletcher in the run-up to Borini’s late winner, and said that he felt Newcastle had been “robbed”. But all that matters for Newcastle is the result, which will make life difficult for Pardew over the next few days.
He 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.”
Pardew appealed to the supporters to back his team on Wednesday, when Manchester City are the visitors in the Capital One Cup. That game is the first of two St James’ Park tests for his team. “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,” he said.
“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.”
Pardew felt that Newcastle had done enough to win the game, and was disappointed with the way that Probert officiated the game. He said that he felt Newcastle were in “control”. “When we got the equaliser, the more the game went on, the more control we got,” he said.
“If we’d got the second goal, the game would have been over.
“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.”
Pardew had to name youngster Paul Dummett (pictured right) in the centre of defence after Steven Taylor suffered an injury on Thursday. Fabricio Coloccini remains touch and go for the midweek game against Manchester City.
He said: “Steven got re-injured on Thursday and with Colo we are unsure whether he’s going to be okay for Wednesday. So 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,” he said.
“To be fair to Dummett I thought he did well to come into that. There can be no slur on him. He performed well.”