sport

Pardew: A vital victory

Alan Pardew admitted after Newcastle United's 1-0 win over Aston Villa that it was crucial for his side to get back on track following a poor recent run.

The Magpies had lost their three previous matches ahead of kick-off, and failed to score in four successive games, and it looked like the game would finish goalless as full-time approached.

However, Loic Remy produced a classy finish in stoppage-time to secure victory and leave Pardew with a great sense of relief.

He told Sky Sports: "It was a very, very important goal because, although we have 40 points and are only five off Everton, who are meant to be having the season of seasons, in the scheme of the last few games it was an important win.

"The one class player on the pitch was Loic and, although we worked with diligence and showed what we have done in training, it was a bit of quality that won it."

Pardew acknowledged that Villa had enjoyed a bright spell late in the first half, but felt Newcastle were good value for their three points after also having a penalty appeal turned down when Leandro Bacuna appeared to handle the ball.

"I thought we should have had a penalty, and I also felt that we deserved to win," said Pardew.

"They had a great 20 minutes, and I am sure Paul (Lambert) will be disappointed that they didn't score between 20 and 40 minutes, but in the second half I thought we were better."