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Pardew keen for Newcastle to find some momentum - again
ALAN PARDEW has rued Newcastle United's inability to build on a promising start to the season and has challenged his players to develop greater togetherness in the Premier League.
After back-to-back league wins and an unbeaten run stretching to four matches since the opening day defeat to Manchester City, the Magpies relinquished the lead twice to lose 3-2 to a dogged Hull City at St James' Park.
The result was exactly what Pardew had been keen to guard against, having spent the build up to the fixture suggesting Newcastle as a club rarely seem to achieve results smoothly.
There was certainly no over-reaction to losing to Hull from the stands this time around, despite director of football Joe Kinnear observing for the first time since the transfer window closed.
But Pardew, whose side travel to in-form Everton next Monday after facing Leeds United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, was not satisfied and intends to improve his team's focus.
“That's what we know about this place, it's about momentum,” said Pardew. “And we've thrown it out of the window.
“We had that momentum and everyone was feeling good with a victory appearing on the cards. That is what the Premier League does unfortunately you have to be consistent to get the win you need.
“I can't say it is a day I will fondly remember. I am standing on the sidelines and am disappointed with a lot of factors about the game. But the thing we must improve on is our consistency of performance as individuals and as a team. That is what got us fifth place the season before last.”
With the exception of Loic Remy's excellent display in attack, Pardew had too many of his players performing short of the level he expected from them.
From the moment Newcastle took the lead through Remy's first goal for the club, the Newcastle boss complained of the drop in tempo across the pitch from the home team and Hull got their rewards despite falling behind twice.
“This is a place where we need to crank it up all the time and keep the pressure on,” said Pardew. “Once we scored, we went down a gear and that is sometimes enough to give hope to the opposition. They felt they could score again and they did that.”
Newcastle created chances, even if they failed to convert them, and striker Papiss Cisse in particular had another off day up front. Pardew, though, was more concerned about improving his team's defensive play above anything else.
“I wouldn't say creativity was the problem,” said Pardew. “It wasn't any individual's performance that cost us. It was a collective effort. And it's the collective effort we need to find consistency in. I thought the whole team could have done more defensively. It was that tightness at Villa that got us the victory.”
Hull's victory was particularly pleasing for Corbridge-born Steve Bruce. The Tigers boss' last visit to St James' Park was a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle on October 31, 2010 when he was in charge of Sunderland. He never really recovered at Sunderland after such a crushing result against the Tyne-Wear rivals.
“I couldn't slide far enough on my knees, otherwise my hip would have gone, but I was tempted,” said Bruce, referring to Paolo Di Canio's St James' Park celebrations after Sunderland won there last season.
“Listen, that defeat goes down as the worst experience of my football life, it will still haunt me forever more because they're the ones you remember, getting beat in Barcelona and getting hit for five by Newcastle as Sunderland manager. It'll stay with me forever but the victory was a little bit sweeter on Saturday. But no it doesn't bury the memories.”
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