Pardew breathes easy after survival
Manager Alan Pardew admitted he does not care if Newcastle lose their final game of the season next weekend after securing Barclays Premier League survival with a 2-1 win at relegated QPR.
The Magpies arrived at Loftus Road with their top-flight status still in jeopardy and fell behind to a debatable Loic Remy penalty on 11 minutes. But they were ahead before half-time as QPR defender Jose Bosingwa twice handed them crucial goals, with Hatem Ben Arfa scoring from the penalty spot and Yoan Gouffran netting the winner.
Newcastle had to hang on after goalkeeper Rob Elliot saw red for a second caution but the visitors got the points to ensure they will stay up, and Pardew said: "I'm very pleased. It was a very important game for this football club. Particularly this year with the extra finance of staying in the Premier League."
He added: "I thought the first 10 minutes we were almost playing with a noose around our neck we were so tense and tight and it took a decision by the referee. I don't really care if Arsenal win 4-0 [next weekend], If I'm honest, I'm sure Spurs will - but I only care that our fans enjoy themselves."
Pardew once again hit out at suggestions over the last month that his squad has been divided within the dressing room and was pleased with the spirit shown by his players.
"The accusations have been so ridiculous," he added. "You don't get a draw at West Brom and West Ham and a win here if you've got rifts going on. Their penalty looked a bit dubious to me and I thought ours looked dubious but once that went in I thought we settled down on a difficult pitch and played quite well.
"But we showed a real determination and resilience to get the job done, for not just this club but for the North East. It's massive for North East football that we are a Premier League club so I'm absolutely delighted for our fans and players."
Harry Redknapp was unhappy with both goals conceded by his side after taking the lead and the QPR boss explained his decision to replace under-fire Bosingwa at the break.
"They were horrendous goals, both of them," he said. "I thought it was a poor penalty and once we conceded the penalty we conceded another bad goal.
"It (crowd reaction to Bosingwa) was not going to help anyone. It was negative. He made a couple of errors but he didn't mean to do it and I took him off because we needed the crowd to be with us. People pay their money, we all get grief at some stages but it has been a miserable season."