ALAN Pardew has revealed he had a fall-out with captain Fabricio Coloccini last week, but it was put to bed after a much-needed win over Queen’s Park Rangers.
Just two points above the relegation zone going into a festive period featuring trips to Manchester United, Arsenal, and a visit from Everton, the tension had been building at St James’ Park before Saturday’s 1-0 victory.
It permeated the dressing room, with Demba Ba criticising Newcastle United’s playing style before the defeat to Manchester City, and Coloccini having a run-in with his manager.
While refusing to go into detail about the dispute, Pardew claimed it was over after coming onto the pitch at full-time on Saturday to speak to his captain.
“I just said to him before we walked out on the pitch – ‘look, we are both winners, we are allowed to fall out’,” said the manager. “We fell out last week and we’re entitled to do that, as the captain and the manager. It was just a silly little thing and I know he was determined to get the result on Saturday.
“I said to him before the game, ‘Be our leader today, be a captain and make sure they don’t get a sniff of a goal’. And when you ask someone to do a job and they do it, it’s only right that you pay your respects to them.”
An outstanding 81st-minute goal from Shola Ameobi settled an otherwise poor game Newcastle dominated, and ended Harry Redknapp’s unbeaten start to life as QPR’s manager.
Coloccini made an outstanding 85th-minute tackle on Adel Taraabt as he threatened to dribble through the Magpies’ backline.
“You fall out with players all the time as a manager, because if not you’re not doing your job,” reasoned Pardew, who was booed by the fans when he took Papiss Cissé off to introduce Ameobi.
“Sometimes I have to say what I think is right.
“Even your most senior players can disagree with that. I have no problem with that. In any walk of life you have to be a man sometimes and admit when you’re wrong and also pay your respects when someone does something very right, and I thought Colo was absolutely brilliant on Saturday.
“He was never off my Christmas card list because it wasn’t me who had the problem. Colo was a bit upset. It was a very little thing – if it was more serious I would say so.
“But I thought it was important I went on the pitch to embrace him in that way.” Although Ameobi’s impact was the most significant, fellow substitutes Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan also played an important part in Newcastle’s second victory in 12 games.
“I’ve made substitutions in my career when people have wanted to rip the place down – you just have to be brave enough to make those decisions,” Pardew argued. “I don’t really notice (the crowd’s reaction) too much. I don’t really notice it when they sing my name either, I’m focussing on the game.
“I just felt we lacked a bit of creative flair in the second half.
“I wanted to get three different creative players on the pitch.
“Sylvain is pushing now and I think he’s showing what we hoped he could show.
“Vurnon Anita, has been our best player in the last four or five games, yet before that looked like he was struggling a bit.”
Pardew also revealed Ameobi, recently capped by Nigeria, will not follow Cheick Tioté to the African Cup of Nations next month, saying: “He isn’t going to be selected and he isn’t going to go – it’s as simple as that.” Tioté is suspended for the Boxing Day trip to Manchester United after his fifth domestic yellow card this season.