Striker Marouane Chamakh was given a rating of 9 out of 10 by Alan Pardew following his performance against Southampton as he returned to the starting line-up at St Mary's.
“Chamakh was best the player on the pitch, I know that you are the ones who have to give ratings but for me it was a nine out of 10 performance. He gave a great No10 display. Think of the Saints players he was up against and that’s great credit to him. I’ve not really seen a lot of him but I know he played particularly well at the back end of last year but surely not as well as this.”
Alan knew that this was always going to be a difficult encounter for his side but was pleased that the preparation for the game gave his side the edge.
“We worked on our attacking play this week and it was great to see that flamboyancy in our attack. Southampton make it difficult, they keep possession and draw you down. But in the first half we got an immediate equaliser which helped our belief and, in a game in which both teams were terrific, just came out on the right side.
“Both of their goals were poor goals from our point of view, we got ourselves in front and then we had to play a bit differently, because we knew that Southampton would keep coming and coming, but it was a great win for us.
“That is four games now where we have had to show different qualities, but we have shown we can win games.
"The cup opens the game up a little bit. It’s hard to put your finger on it but there’s a winner takes all feel to the fixture and perhaps Saints were not as tight as they could have been. Being in the last 16 has given us a real buzz and we look forward to the next round.”