Pardew Hails US Success (But He Would Wouldn't He)
Prior to the USA tour the media said Newcastle Utd's preparation and schedule must have been set up by Mickey Mouse. Ten flights in ten days! Three players were told they could not enter the country; injury struck three of the squad; Jose Enrique ridiculed Mike Ashley on Twitter ... and Danny Simpson had to return home because of a birth. But Alan Pardew, who has defended the trip throughout, says it was a wise decision to go ahead with the tour. Newcastle’s tour made headlines for the wrong reasons before a ball was kicked, with Joey Barton, Yohan Cabaye and Nile Ranger refused work visas. And the ankle injury suffered by Hatem Ben Arfa at Sporting Livestrong Park, and the problems with the pitch in the following game at the Florida Citrus Bowl, were frustrating to Pardew. However, the Columbus win has put a different complexion on United’s first visit to the country in 11 years, with Pardew feeling the the trans-Atlantic tour was a worthwhile exercise. Alan Pardew: “This tour’s been a good test. “There were new players on this trip, but a big creative part of our team couldn’t travel – Barton and Cabaye – and it was a good test. “We’ve had the good, the bad and the ugly on this trip. “The injury to Ben Arfa was perhaps the low point, but it brought us together, and we had a nice spirit in the group, and it showed on the pitch. “If we’d have got beaten, and suffered another injury, we’d have looked at the tour and thought it didn’t work out. “But we got real good competitive games, and hats off to the MLS and American soccer, because it gave us a real good test in the three games. We’re very pleased with that.” Asked if the team would have had more benefit playing in Italy or Spain, Pardew refuse to comment.
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