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Pardew: We dug deep for draw

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew felt his players displayed some much-needed battling spirit in the 0-0 draw with Norwich.

Last Updated: 12/01/13 at 19:41 Post Comment

A dismal run of results has left the Magpies dangerously close to the drop zone, but they stopped the rot with a hard-working performance at Carrow Road.

Russell Martin's shot against the post was the closest either side came to scoring and Pardew believes his players showed they have the right qualities needed to drag the team out of trouble.

"I think it was a tense game. Both teams came here on a disappointing run so they really worked hard, you couldn't fault the application," he said.

"There were not too many moments in the game, but that suited us because we needed to get something today. We needed a show of spirit on the pitch and a belief and to show our fans that we're up for the fight and we did in no uncertain terms.

"Now we take that to a home game against Reading."

Pardew was grateful for the clean sheet and feels his team were rewarded for some hard graft on the training pitch.

"It's very important, but also momentum, it gives something to build on," he said. "We've worked hard this week on the back four and I think that showed.

"It was a good performance, I thought the goalie was terrific as well, coming to get some crosses and taking the sting. It's a tough place to come here because they are very much a goal threat from crosses and they do it well. We performed well today."

Mathieu Debuchy made his debut in the Magpies back-line and Pardew was pleased with the way in which the full-back coped with his transition to life in the English top flight.

"I thought he played well. It's difficult to come into that pace from the French league, trust me," he said.

"The first 10 minutes I thought he was a bit rocky and then he settled and had a moment at the end when he saved a good situation for Norwich. It was a great ball in and just the pressure he put on (Grant) Holt was enough to put him off."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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