Alan Pardew hails Newcastle escape, lashes 'rift' talk

Updated: 13 May 2013 08:21 IST

The Magpies, who had been beaten 6-0 at home by Liverpool and 3-0 by north east rivals Sunderland in recent weeks, assured themselves of Premier League football next season following a 2-1 win.

Alan Pardew hails Newcastle escape, lashes 'rift' talk
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Newcastle:

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has insisted his side's avoidance of relegation from the Premier League is proof that claims of behind-the-scenes turmoil were unfounded.

The Magpies, who had been beaten 6-0 at home by Liverpool and 3-0 by north east rivals Sunderland in recent weeks, assured themselves of Premier League football next season following a 2-1 win at already-relegated Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

An opportunist strike from Yoan Gouffran, who capitalised on poor defensive play from Rangers goalkeeper Robert Green and defender Jose Bosingwa, ended up being decisive after Hatem Ben Arfa's penalty had cancelled out an earlier Rangers spot-kick from Loic Remy.

Newcastle, who finished fifth last season, had been part of the relegation equation for much of the campaign however, prompting reports the British-based players in the squad did not see eye to eye with the sizeable French-speaking contingent that Pardew had brought to St James' Park.

Pardew, not for the first time, said that had never been the case.

"We showed a great deal of resilience to get the job done and not just for this football club but for the north-east as well," he said.

"I'm delighted for our fans and for our players -- who had accusations that were so ridiculous. You don't get a draw against West Brom and West Ham and a win here with rifts going on. There will be reporters crying in their beer tonight, and I know there's one or two in here.

"We can look forward to our last game of the season now and I hope the supporters enjoy it. I don't really care if Arsenal win 4-0, although I'm sure Spurs will."

Pardew was relieved the sending off of goalkeeper Robert Elliot for handling outside his area nine minutes before time did not prove significant.

"The linesman called it but it was impossible to see from that angle," he said. "You can't get a player sent off unless you are sure."

Pardew was also convinced Newcastle's lengthy Europa League campaign was the cause of so much stress as it prevented him from putting his strongest side out in Premier League fixtures.

"The Europa League is an experience that we will be better for but we took injuries in that competition and the overriding emotion I have is that we didn't have enough quality in depth. If I could put my first XI out every week I would have a top-eight team but I put it out three times.

"Now we are not in the Europa League -- God willing we won't get in through the Fair Play Award -- means we can have a good run in the Premier League."

Rangers manager Harry Redknapp cut a forlorn figure afterwards as he tried to figure out a way of transforming the Londoners into promotion contenders.

"It has been a miserable season and that team today wouldn't finish in the top half of the Championship," he said. "You need to shift people to get others in and it is difficult. Shifting players that other teams want is easy."

Rangers fans would be delighted if Bosingwa left as they have yet to forgive him for the day earlier in the season when he refused to take his place on the bench after being dropped. They booed the former Chelsea man even before he gave away Newcastle's penalty, and Redknapp took him off at half-time.

"You can't play with that sort of negativity around the place," Redknapp explained. "He cost us a couple of goals and I decided to make some changes. He didn't make mistakes on purpose, I'm not blaming him, but we needed the crowd to be behind us to get back in the game."

Topics : Football Liverpool Arsenal Manchester United Newcastle United Chelsea Manchester City Alex Ferguson Njazi Kuqi Mark Hughes Yoan Gouffran English Premier League
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