Pardew pleased with Magpies draw
Published 21/04/2013 | 07:41
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew felt his team were inching closer to safety after being forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at West Brom.
The Magpies missed a chance to pull eight points clear of the relegation zone after failing to build on Yoan Gouffran's early goal at The Hawthorns. The visitors squandered a number of chances to make the game safe before half-time but West Brom responded after the break to claim a point through Billy Jones' equaliser.
Romelu Lukaku also hit the bar and Rob Elliot produced a fine save to deny James Morrison as the Baggies looked the most likely winners in the second half. Pardew said: "I'm really pleased with a point, it is important at this stage of the season."
He added: "We have got four games to go and I don't really care where we finish in the league as long as we are in the league. You need to make sure you secure the points and don't rely on other people not getting them. It is very important now we keep battling to the end.
"The club is in a great financial position, we have good players and if we have them all fit, we are stronger than we were. Therefore, I would expect us to challenge for top 10 next season but we have got to stay in the division."
The first half ended with a controversial incident as James Perch was penalised for a foul on Jones on the right edge of the box. Replays however showed a double error by the officials. The incident occurred inside the box but the tackle by Perch appeared a clean one.
It was perhaps just as well West Brom wasted the opportunity but both managers had different opinions on the matter.
Pardew said: "I certainly didn't think it was a foul. I was standing in a direct line with his foot and thought he got the ball. I didn't see anything wrong with it."
West Brom head coach Steve Clarke said: "The referee gave a free-kick and the challenge was clearly inside the box. On another day we might have got it."
Clarke felt the Baggies' lack of recent action showed in the early stages but was pleased with their recovery after half-time, saying: "I was a bit concerned we had only played two games in 34 days and I think that showed at the start. Newcastle picked up the game much quicker than we did. In the first half they were better than us."