Cabaye enjoying free role - Pardew
Published 19/01/2014 | 08:17
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was full of praise for Yohan Cabaye after Saturday's 3-1 victory at West Ham, labelling the France midfielder "a class act".
Cabaye sealed the win in the final minute after having opened the scoring in the first half, much to the frustration of the Upton Park crowd.
Pardew said: "He has a great role for us, for the team. He gets almost a free role in the team in the number 10 shirt and I think he's enjoyed that.
"He's added goals to his game. The first one was a real class, individual goal - the touch, and the way he moved, and the sublime moment he took to finish it.
"And I thought he was a class act all day really and he has been a big player for us, and it's helped us get a rhythm in the midfield, which worked well for us today."
The Magpies boss was equally quick to highlight the collective effort, insisting he was only taking one negative from the match.
"I think the one regret of the game really were the final minutes of the first half when we'd played so well and got ourselves a great platform to win the game, and to concede at that moment was really, really bad," he said.
"I refocused at half-time to try and get the team in a place for the second half to try and play like we did in the first, but I thought West Ham were much better in the second half and it was difficult for us.
"We had to really dig in to win headers and challenges. But really and truly the first half was the platform for victory."
West Ham counterpart Sam Allardyce, however, had five clear concerns in his mind after the club's fourth loss in six matches.
"We have five defenders who are missing at the moment and one that should have been playing, this morning pulled out, so our back four today (Razvan Rat, James Collins, Roger Johnson and Matt Taylor) has never played together at all this season," he said.
"When you get continuous disruption in your back four you then don't get your solid unit, and sometimes that solid unit that you would like is difficult to keep when players are not used to playing with each other, and Newcastle's players exposed that particular weakness and scored two goals.
"It's very disappointing, when you've won at Cardiff, to not get anything here, and certainly from our point of view it was more about our defensive lapses rather than the quality of Newcastle's play to score both goals, I felt.
"We could have done better,"
The result left West Ham 18th in the Barclays Premier League standings, but only two wins away from mid-table - a target that Allardyce clearly has in his mind.
He said: "We've got 16 games to go. We know how many points we need in those 16 games to get safe in the Premier League and we've got to keep fighting on.
"I think there comes a time when the players have to realise it doesn't become about performances any more - it becomes about results more than anything.
"Whichever way you can get them, you've got to get them."