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Pardew: Toon earned friends with comeback

Pardew was under plenty of pressure going into the fixture, with fan protests expected following last week's 4-0 defeat at Southampton. 

While the atmosphere at St James' Park was not as hostile as first imagined, frustrations were clearly evident around the ground when goals from Nikica Jelavic and Mohamed Diame put the hosts 2-0 down after 68 minutes.

However, substitute Papiss Cisse scored twice to help ease the pressure on Pardew with the Newcastle boss thanking those fans who chose to get behind the team, if not him.

"It was very difficult when the ball kept coming to me and they were jeering me," Pardew explained.

"I have to say thank you to them. Big sections of our fans more or less took a neutral position today.

"I don't expect them to support me but I think they just took a view of loving their football club and seeing what happened today.

"I think we did enough on the pitch to win a few friends today. Our fans are realistic, they know the top six is beyond us, we can't compete with those clubs at the moment.

"But we should be competing [with teams in] seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th. We've proven we can do that in the past.

"We're well off that now and I'm not going to jump up and down over a 2-2 draw at home to Hull. It's a stepping stone to that area, to where this club needs to be."

While Pardew's men remain without a win in the league this term, the point did move Newcastle off the bottom - although that could change when West Brom and Crystal Palace play on Sunday.

The former West Ham boss was critical of certain reports in the media prior to the fixture but said his players could have no complaints over the anger at their defeat on the south coast last weekend.

"All the reporting we had to put up with this week and the week before the Southampton game - some of it was really, really unfair," he continued.

"I said to the players: 'you can't moan about it because we've brought it on ourselves. We set ourselves up at Southampton for this sort of criticism and you're going to have to take it'.

"You either can't handle it and you don't play for this football club or you can handle it - I think they proved [they could] today in very, very difficult circumstances.

"They've come through all the criticism of how bad they were at Southampton plus the negativity of today and that will stand them in good stead to be Newcastle players.

"We have had some reporting that's been ridiculous really but we've also had some good reporting this week that's been fair and honest and I just want to thank the guys who have done that for me."