Pardew team-talk reaps rewards

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Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Under-fire Newcastle manager Alan Pardew tore into his players after a miserable first-half at Tottenham – harsh words which, coupled with some inspired substitutions, led to an impressive comeback win.

This was set to be another bad day at the office for the struggling Magpies after Emmanuel Adebayor gave Spurs the lead in a one-sided performance at White Hart Lane.

Victory looked straightforward for the north Londoners, only for half-time substitute Sammy Ameobi to deliver a sucker punch just seconds after the restart.

Remy Cabella, also brought on at the beginning of the second half, then provided the cross for Ayoze Perez to cap his first start for the club with what proved to be the winner, as Newcastle held firm to secure back-to-back wins, alleviating the pressure on Pardew.

“We were a bit unlucky because we lose Papiss [Cisse] just two hours before the game,” the Newcastle boss said.

“We’d worked all week thinking that he’d be fine so it was a bit of a shock to lose him. His knee was swollen today as a reaction to yesterday’s training.

“So we had to go with Perez and I knew that probably wouldn’t suit him but we needed to give it a go because of the way we’d worked all week.

“We were giving too much possession to Tottenham, too much space.

“We never made a challenge and we were fortunate to come in a 1-0, so I reminded them about the fundamentals of a Premier League game and we came out with a much stronger attitude.

“I thought (in the) second half, the players were magnificent.”

Pardew deserves credit for the half-time introductions of Ameobi and Cabella – a move he said was down to offering a threat.

It clearly helped move Newcastle’s performance up a level, as did his half-time ‘team talk’.

“There were a few strong words,” Pardew said.

“We just said to them after, it’s not nice as a manager to go in and bark out orders but sometimes it’s necessary just to shake people up because we needed shaking up.”

Things would have been so different had Spurs showed a cutting edge in the first half.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino believes they deserved more from a display undone by Ameobi’s sucker punch.

“It was a shock because after that it all changed in this moment,” said the Argentinian, who was not even back in his seat when the substitute scored.

“Seven or six seconds before, all was happiness and there was good energy in the stadium. Our supporters were happy and believed that we would get a good result.

“But in this moment, I think it was difficult to manage in our head. Our heads had gone and we started to take rash decisions on the pitch.

“It was difficult because 12 or 14 minutes later, we conceded again another goal. At 2-1, it was difficult.”

Pochettino’s main complaint after the match was the lack of mental strength displayed by the Tottenham squad.

It undid what he called their best half of their season on what is not the first time the Spurs boss has bemoaned his players’ mentality.

“It is not something where you can analyse the action, sort the tactical situation and move the players,” Pochettino said.

“With mentality, we need to work hard. It is not easy. We need to be more strong, like a team. This is our challenge.

“We need to speak, we need to create a different situation on the training ground and work.

“We know how but always you need to spend time to work in this area. It is not the same as in physical or tactical situations. It is a different area.”

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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