Newcastle 5 Stoke City 1: Alan Pardew cools top-four talk
Newcastle 5 Stoke City 1: Alan Pardew refuses to get carried away after commanding win over nine-man Potters
Alan Pardew refused to get carried away after his Newcastle United side smashed five goals past nine-man Stoke City to move up to sixth in the table.
Oussama Assaidi had put Stoke ahead in the 29th minute but the visitors then had Glenn Whelan sent off for a second yellow, before Marc Wilson saw red for fouling Loic Remy in the box.
The two sending-offs were a major factor in us winning in the manner we did
Remy’s penalty was saved but the France striker equalised with a deflected finish on the stroke of half-time.
Yoan Gouffran fired home a second shortly after the restart, before Remy’s header, Yohan Cabaye’s curling shot and Papiss Cisse’s penalty secured a comfortable three points for Pardew’s men.
Asked about the possibility of the Magpies challenging for a top-four finish, Pardew said: “The experts are the ones who know and they keep telling us we are not going to be involved and I think they are probably right.”
The Newcastle boss continued: “I thought the Stoke players conducted themselves brilliantly in the second half – against our strike force and down to nine men. It was a shame for Stoke because the two sending-offs were a major factor in us winning in the manner we did.
Newcastle host Arsenal in their next fixture on Sunday, and Pardew warned the Gunners that they will be in for a tough test at St James’ Park.
“Arsenal are top of the league. That is deserved, they have been the best team in this first half of the season, but we are in great shape, our place will be rocking and rolling and Arsenal know it won’t be easy to turn us over,” he added.
Meanwhile, Stoke boss Mark Hughes was less-than-impressed with referee Martin Atkinson’s performance.
“It went wrong when the referee got involved,” said Hughes. “I thought the initial sending off was very, very harsh. The second you would argue is a correct decision – denying a goal scoring opportunity – we would argue against that.
“There were a lot of decisions that left a lot to be desired to be honest. We totally controlled the game up to the first sending off in my view. Unfortunately referees can make decisions that can change the course of a game.”