Alan Pardew has insisted that despite Newcastle losing to Blackburn in the Carling Cup last night, he is proud of the Toon squad for coming back from 2-0 down to force extra-time and finish the game with three goals.
Newcastle currently sit fourth in the Barclays Premier League table, and have enjoyed a surprisingly successful start to the season.
And while the club held high hopes of winning some silverware through the Carling Cup competition, Pardew said the game last night showed that Newcastle have a fighting spirit that will be hard to match this season.
"If we were going to go out of the cup, that's how to go out of it," Pardew told the Northern Echo. "We gave absolutely everything, but sometimes you can't win every game.
"I don't like the idea of being a gallant loser to be honest, and we haven't really had that too often this season thankfully.
"But it was a fantastic effort, and I'm sure all the fans who came to the game will have appreciated the effort that was put in and the commitment to try to turn things around. We took everything that was thrown at us and came out fighting, but unfortunately it wasn't our day."
Pardew also argued that Newcastle had a tough spell with the referees over the course of the night, with a few shouts for penalties not given.
"To be 2-0 down was galling," he said. "We had a couple of penalty shouts and when Demba turned Samba, I definitely thought he had hold of his arm.
“I thought it was a penalty and, to compound that not being given, having seen the video of their penalty, I'm sure Tim played the ball. It wasn't a penalty at the other end, and that put us really on the back foot. But the players just don't know when to give in and they kept pressing and pressing to the end."
Pardew believes that the match going into extra time cost Newcastle, though he couldn’t fault their work ethic over the 120 minutes.
"It was really just tiredness at the end that cost us the game," he explained. "We just lacked concentration on that last set-play. Samba is a massive threat, but unfortunately we just didn't react to him winning that header.
"But I couldn't fault the players because they'd put in a magnificent effort by that stage. Sadly, it just wasn't meant to be for us."
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