Alan Pardew

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Alan Pardew insists there were plenty of positives to take, despite United being "surprised" by Rio Ave in a 3-1 defeat on Saturday.

The Portuguese hosts raced into a three goal lead thanks to Hassan's double and a neat finish from Braga, as Newcastle took time to find their feet.

But, improving as the game went on, Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Yoan Gouffran all had good chances before Shola Ameobi got the Magpies on the scoresheet.

Although they were unable to add to their tally, Pardew was keen to focus on a number of things which pleased him.

"I don't think the result really reflected the game because I think we bossed about 70 per cent of it," he told nufc.co.uk following the final whistle.

"But they had three chances in the first half and scored them all, which put us right on the back foot.

"We were a bit passive for the first 20 or so minutes and, if I'm being honest with you, they surprised us a bit with their quality.

"A couple of their players were very, very good and it shows why they nearly qualified for the Europa League last season.

"We don't want to lose, ever, but there were some real highlights.

"Dummett, again, Obertan and Sammy made a big difference when they came on, Cabaye was good, Cheick was good, Moussa was good, Rob was good and Santon did very, very well.

"There were a lot more positives than negatives."

Newcastle suffered a blow, however, with time running out when Shola Ameobi was forced to leave the pitch with an arm injury.

"Shola is the big worry," explained Pardew.

"He went over on his arm and we had to finish the game with ten men.

"He will go for and X-ray and we will wait to see what the results of that are."