Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew praised his senior players after a Papiss Cisse double salvaged a 2-2 draw with Hull City on Saturday.
Pardew went into the contest facing the prospect of mass fan protests against his reign following a poor start to the new Premier League season.
Calls for Pardew to be removed from his position looked set to increase after stunning goals from Nikica Jelavic and Mohamed Diame had seemingly given Hull all three points
But the introduction of Cisse in the 69th minute proved to be a turning point as the Senegal striker marked his return from a fractured kneecap with a late brace to perhaps secure another week at the helm for Pardew.
"It's been a difficult start for us," Pardew is quoted by BBC Sport.
"I'm conscious of not making excuses because I've been accused of making excuses. I just want to defend the team, but we were really good at times today and hopefully the fans can digest that.
"It's not lost on me that I get accused of being arrogant but I'm also a proud man to be manager of this football club and I'm going to fight to keep it. My team need to reflect that and I think they did today.
"Ironically, one or two people clapped me as I walked out and I thank those couple of fans - it was only two. We need to win every game that we can at the moment to release some pressure.
"Cheick Tiote came to me and said 'we are playing well but we can't score' but I told him I was bringing Papiss Cisse on.
"Our senior players were magnificent today, particularly Tiote. I'm very proud of the way we conducted ourselves as a team and a staff and we go to the next game."
Meanwhile, Cisse dedicated his goals to Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez, who revealed earlier this week that he is suffering from testicular cancer.
"I remember my first goal in England, Jonas crossed for me to score a fantastic goal," Cisse told local media.
"My message is to keep going for him.
"Life is not finished, he needs to be happy and enjoy the rest of his life."1 comment