Alan Pardew

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Alan Pardew hailed a couple of magical moments, as Newcastle showed their true fighting spirit to salvage a 2-2 draw away at Reading on Saturday.

The Royals twice led at the Madejski Stadium through Jimmy Kebe and Noel Hunt, but each time Demba Ba hauled United level.

His first was a stunning volley from Cheick Tiote's lofted pass over the top of the home defence, while number two came courtesy of an inch-perfect Shane Ferguson cross,

And Pardew admitted to nufcTV following the match: "Sometimes you don't play well and then two of your best players come up with a magic moment like that.

"The pass was on the money, and for Demba - it was coming over his shoulder, and to get that timing and that hit, you've got to be a top player.

"It was a fantastic goal which got us back in the game. The goal was right out of the top draw, and that's what the Premier League is all about.

"(For the second) Shane has put the ball in a great area.

"I know Reading are upset that it's hit Demba's hand, but if you put a ball of that quality in that area then you are going to get a reward. It was a fantastic ball."

Newcastle were far from at their best against Reading and, despite extending their unbeaten league run to four matches, Pardew has called on his troops to up their game.

"Performance levels are a worry for me," he admitted.

"We are picking up points through our spirit but we can't rely on that all of the time.

"We are going to have to play a lot better than that as we go forward.

"But this was a tough game today. The intensity, pace and energy that Reading showed - looking for their first win - and we still wouldn't give in, still wouldn't lie down and managed to get a point."

United suffered a blow early in the second half when centre-back Steven Taylor was forced off.

But Pardew is keeping his fingers crossed that the Academy graduate will be fit for their next Premier League fixture against Manchester United.

"We're hoping so," said the manager.

"He had a little bit of a strain in there and that's his bad leg, so we didn't want to chance it.

"That disruption cost us two goals if I'm honest. We looked comfortable up until then, but hopefully he will be okay for (Manchester) United.

To watch the full post-match interview with Alan Pardew, click here