By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Alan Pardew was proud of his Newcastle United side's character and performance as they picked up a 1-1 draw in a fiesty pre-season fixture at Pacos de Ferreira on Tuesday.
A friendly it most certainly wasn't as tackles flew in, a handful of players from both sides were booked and there was a double sending off late in the first half for Magpies skipper Fabricio Coloccini and home forward Caetano.
But, having trailed 1-0 to Caetano's early effort, Shola Ameobi deservedly levelled things on the hour mark with a powerful finish to leave the boss generally satisfied with a good night's work in the Portuguese sunshine.
"Make no mistake, we were the better side throughout the 90 minutes and we should have won it," Pardew told nufc.co.uk.
"But to get a performance like that against this standard of opposition - a team who finished third in their league last season - was outstanding from us.
"We showed our commitment that we weren't just going to lie down. They are a strong team, a good technical team, but we were better than them and as the game wore on we got stronger, which bodes well for the work we have done on the training pitch this week.
"Take the sending-off away and I would say it was a really positive night, but that sending-off has just cast a shadow over it slightly."
Coloccini and Caetano both received their marching orders after clashing while chasing a long ball over the top.
And Pardew was upset at the standard of officiating which preceeded the incident.
"In my opinion the referee let too many tackles go and he was asking for trouble," said the Magpies' manager.
"Someone was going to get hurt or sent off, which is what did happen. Unfortunately for us it was our captain, who we know is a pretty calm character, and that tells you what sort of level the game was at."