Tuesday 12 December 2017

Pardew targets flair signings

Damian Spellman



Newcastle boss Alan Pardew vowed to hunt down flair players to get the crowd off their seats after watching his current crop secure their Premier League status. This victory over 10-man Birmingham confirmed the Magpies' presence in the top flight and left the visitors uncomfortably close to the drop zone.

"Now we need those three or four players," said Pardew. "Newcastle are renowned for getting them [the fans] off their seats, and we know that's probably what is missing and is going to take us beyond where we are at the moment.

Newcastle might have won more comfortably had it not been for the heroics of City 'keeper Ben Foster, who pulled off four superb saves to deny Peter Lovenkrands, substitute Nile Ranger and Kevin Nolan twice, although the game only sparked to life after Liam Ridgewell's 35th-minute dismissal for handball.

Shola Ameobi calmly converted the penalty for his ninth goal of the season and when Steven Taylor marked his return to the starting line-up with a towering 43rd-minute header, there looked to be only one winner.

However, Lee Bowyer's 45th-minute strike gave the visitors hope, and they had a late chance to snatch a point when Sebastian Larsson stabbed wide after Tim Krul had fumbled Jean Beausejour's cross, but Newcastle hung on for a deserved victory.

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