After his side ran out 2-0 victors in the second game of their pre-season tour, Alan Pardew was happy that his side picked up the win despite a plucky effort from FC Cincinnati.
Fine strikes from Jordon Mutch and Wilfried Zaha proved to be the difference between the two teams in front of a crowd of over 35,000 who were loud and supportive of their local team, and that backing left its mark on the Eagles boss who stated he wanted to return to the city in the near future.
In his post-match press conference, he said: “We got the goals at the right time and came away with the victory and we’re very pleased to have done that.
“The atmosphere was phenomenal – it’s not often you get that an atmosphere like that in a pre-season game, or even some of our Premier League games, so hats off to everyone that turned up tonight. John’s team played above themselves and it was a tough game.
“The whole time we’ve been here we’ve felt energised. The enthusiasm for this club is phenomenal and personally I really hope we can come back here, if not next year then soon because I want to experience it again.”
The game was played on an artificial surface which Pardew admitted slightly hampered his side at times but he was pleased with the performance of his wide players such as Zaha, who limped off in the second half but his manager believes it wasn’t too serious, stating: “It was a heavy challenge and we’re hoping he is OK but he should be. We don’t think it’s a real problem.
“I thought we did very well on the surface, sometimes you can get stuck; grass is a bit more forgiving so you end up with clashes that are dangerous in some respect. I’m not criticising the surface, we’re just not used to it and it wasn’t evident in Cincinnati’s play but we were just unexperienced with it.
“We had some great attacking play tonight. It was exciting and there were some nice moments for the crowd to enjoy of top quality. There aren’t many Premier League teams who can carry those exciting players that can get past people and we’re lucky to have the wide players that we have here.”