St James' Park, Newcastle

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Pardew thanks Newcastle board

Alan Pardew paid tribute to Newcastle United's board after the signing of five players this month spurred them on to a vital 2-1 win over relegation rivals Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Last Updated: 30/01/13 at 06:58 Post Comment

New arrivals Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy all started and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa came on as a substitute as Newcastle recorded their first away win of the campaign.

Pardew thanked the club's board for freeing up the cash to sign them - and then heaped particular praise on French midfielder Sissoko, whose sublime pass set up Papiss Cisse's opening goal.

Pardew said: "There has been a lot of work and effort to get that win, not just from the staff and the players, but the directors and [Newcastle managing director] Derek Llambias.

"It was obvious when Demba Ba went, in the position we were in, it was a blow to the personality of the team. But the new players have given us a lift.

"Sissoko was magnificent in the first half. He is going to be a powerful player in the Premier League.

"Sissoko made a difference today with his power and control, and he helped Papiss, who has been a bit isolated, especially since Demba [Ba] left.

"I have always had my eye on him. That's a nice little aperitif that he showed tonight."

Cisse's strike was followed by a brilliant goal from Yohan Cabaye as Newcastle enjoyed one of their best halves of football of the season so far.

However, Villa fought back superbly in the second half and the visitors were forced to hang on for victory.

Magnificent

"In the first half we were magnificent," Pardew added. "We would have given anyone a game with that performance. We played as well as we have played all year.

"In the second half, we had to show another side to our game - to battle, to fight - and everybody played their part.

"We were disappointed to give a goal away after three minutes. It knocked us a little bit. We haven't won for a while, so we were a bit rash with our clearances."

Despite the victory, Pardew insisted his side are still a long way from being out of relegation danger.

He is confident of escaping the drop, though, and believes Villa will also be safe.

"Fair play to Villa," Pardew said. "They got clapped off at the end - and quite right. They gave it everything. I don't think they will go down. They have got too much quality.

"But it was our day today. It is by far not over for us. We have got 14 cup finals to come, but it's a start."

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