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Pardew: Absolutely Brilliant In Second Half

27 August 2016

Alan Pardew felt that the first half penalty in the 1-1 draw was a crucial point of the game as his side went into the break rather than having picked up the ascendancy from the spot kick.

"As a club we are going through some changes and we have had disruption this week and we didn't get the chance to do much team play and that was evident. We didn't start particularly great and then got a deserved lead and then we had a penalty, which I feel was a crucial point of the game. If we score the penalty we would have confidence to step on but we didn't and were lucky to get in at 1-0 after a great save from our goalkeeper, who I felt was magnificent today. 

"At half time I didn't want to make any changes and then in the second half we were absolutely brilliant, we looked a completely different team as though I had changed all eleven players. For me the equaliser was more than justified, we should have been in front well before then as we had so many chances."

The manager praised the fans for the way they kept behind the team even in a disappointing first half period. 

"The fans were terrific today, they stayed with us during that awful first half, no where near our potential but then the second half was probably as good a second half as I have seen here under my management."

When the first half penalty was awarded there seemed a few who put themselves forward to take the spot kick and Pardew is not a manager to be concerned about the way that more than one player wanted to step up. 

"I don't mind them fighting over who is going to take it, I always think it is a diffcult one with penalties to say to a specific penalty taker, unless they are regular, but we might look at that going forward. With the new rules around the holding and grabbing of shirts we could get some more penalties than normal so we will look to sort that out and but as for who is going to take it, I will leave that to the players."

Following his first half cup appearance in the week the manager was pleased to see his new signing get a full ninety minutes under his belt. 

"I thought Christian showed the power and spirit of the role he played in today in some of the things he did. He was obviously lacking a bit of play sharpness that meant it was a bit of a risk to play him the whole game. He couldn't have done anymore with the energy levels and game time he has had and he will get sharper. I think we had 20 shots in the second half and I would hate to think how many crosses but on another day he would have got a couple of goals today."

The starting line up didn't include Wilfried Zaha but the manager explained the reasons behind the decision. 

"I decided not to play Wilf on Friday, he is a young man who has already been up to Manchester United, come back here and done terrific for us. He was our player of the year last season and he has been great for me and I didn't want to leave him out but I have to understand the pressures on him. He has had a really disruptive week so to be fair to him so I wanted to see if we could get through the game without him but he was needed and he responded with a terrific performance. He showed why the Chairman made the statement he did."

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