Performance pleases Pardew
Alan Pardew declared himself pleased with Newcastle's performance after their goalless draw with Blackburn.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 12/02/11 7:52pm
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew declared himself pleased with his side's performance against Blackburn, despite admitting his disappointment at missing out on all three points.
The visitors were dominant at times in a 0-0 stalemate at Ewood Park on Saturday, as only a lack of killer instinct up front prevented them from breaking the deadlock.
Blackburn, though, halted a run of three defeats on the trot with a sturdy defensive display, with Chris Samba and Ryan Nelson keeping strikers Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands quiet.
"We stood up to a Blackburn side who were determined to put a bad run behind them and we got a well-earned point today," Pardew told Sky Sports.
"We're just so disappointed we didn't come away with something bigger than we got. Jose Enrique today was magnificent, probably the best player on the pitch.
"But we just didn't get a break - something to fall for us - and unfortunately we didn't get the win which perhaps we deserved.
"In the last third we didn't quite work the goalkeeper enough. We controlled the ball, we controlled the game, so I'm very proud of the players.
"The team were strong and it's just a shame for our strikers because I thought they really worked hard without getting a break or a decent opportunity."
Following Newcastle's spectacular four-goal comeback after a first-half of shambolic defending against Arsenal last weekend, Pardew was delighted normal service was resumed at the back.
He said: "We've been strong defensively since I've been at the club and I've worked really hard on that. So that first half against Arsenal was a freak for us.
"[Mike] Williamson, in particular, has stepped up to the Premier League this year and proved what a great signing he is and he did well today."
Newcastle face Birmingham away on Tuesday before home fixtures against Bolton and Everton, and Pardew believes these upcoming game will determine how well they finish.
"It's a crucial period of the Premier League, we're all aware of that," he said. "A lot will depend on the next three results for how we finish.
"We want to finish strong, and these three results are going to tell us where we're going to finish in some ways."
New signing Shefki Kuqi made a cameo debut appearance in the final minute, but Pardew believes he has a genuine role to play at both ends of the field.
"He brings genuine, honest commitment and a real man in the shirt," he aid. "He came on, won a couple of headers and held the ball.
"His role is to do what he did near the end - come on, win some headers and make it difficult in both penalty areas. So we're very pleased to have him on board."