Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Pressure piles on Pardew after defeat

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew defended his decision to replace goalscorer Yohan Cabaye against Reading on Saturday and lamented the tide of negativity that swept around St James' Park and spread to his players after the substitution.

Frenchman Cabaye, making his first start after a two-month injury layoff, put Newcastle ahead in the 35th minute with a superb free-kick and the home side looked on track to grab three crucial points in the battle to avoid relegation.

However, Newcastle lost their way in the second half and two goals from substitute Adam Le Fondre gave Reading a 2-1 win, their first ever victory at St James' Park.

Pardew, whose side have won just three times in 18 games since he signed an eight-year deal in September, acknowledged the boos that rained down after the Cabaye substitution but said he had no option but to replace him.

"The substitutions that were made were greeted with jeers and I have to accept that," he told the club's website after a defeat that left Newcastle just two points from the drop zone.

"One of them, Yohan, I had no choice with because he had an injury, which was something that we were worried about but fortunately it doesn't look too bad."

Cabaye was taken off in the 74th minute with the scores tied at 1-1. Three minutes later Reading were ahead and Newcastle fans vented their frustration from the stands.

Pardew said Cabaye had indicated he needed to be taken off.

"He told me about five minutes before he came off that he was injured," he told the BBC.

"Of course the players and the fans don't want to see a great player go off the pitch. It made it difficult for me because that negativity spread around the stadium and to the players. And that's what happens when you're down the bottom.

"It was a negative stadium in the second half, there were a lot of boos and the players were trying to do their best."

Pardew said he must add to the squad after seeing striker Demba Ba leave the club to join Chelsea and losing out on France forward Loic Remy, who opted to sign for bottom club Queen's Park Rangers instead of Newcastle.

Reading manager Brian McDermott was understandably thrilled with the win, his team's second come-from-behind victory in a row. Reading fought back from two down against West Bromwich Albion to win 3-2 last Saturday.

"It's a fantastic win, I don't know if we'll get the coach back or fly now - but to be honest I don't care, I'll walk home!" he told the club's website.

After winning just once in their opening 19 games in the Premier League, Reading have now won three of their last four and McDermott said his side had learned how to get results in the English top flight.

"We were losing games, high scoring games ... but we've learned from that. You have to stay in games in this division and we did that at 1-0," he added.

Reading, with 19 points, remain in the drop zone in 18th place but are just one point from safety and trail Newcastle, who finished fifth last season, by two.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The big match myth
One of the things that make football the popular sport it is, is the simplicity. The team with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Moaning Mourinho blasts ref, but not his team
There is an old saying (cliché) that says, “A tradesman always blames his tools.”

Sunday Oliseh
No more underdogs In African football
As I sat there at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium and watched Sierra Leone mastermind a 0-0 draw...

Segun Odegbami
The baptism of Nigeria’s new coach
Last Saturday we saw glimpses of a new Super Eagles team. It was not such a pleasant sight.

Neil Tovey
Rakhale – kasi star on the rise
Thabo Rakhale has come on in leaps and bounds as a player since he debuted for Sivutsa Stars during...

Emeka Enyadike
All eyes on Coutinho
Phillippe Coutinho produced one of the standout moments of the opening week of the Premier League.