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Pardew Pleased The Tie Was Over Before It Started
Published : 07 Dec 2012 11:26:41
Alan Pardew was pleased his side didn't have to fight for a point in France last night.
Alan Pardew: "We wanted to qualify, that was the first agenda in this competition, and we did that with a game to spare.
"I think it would have been difficult coming here if we both hadn't qualified and they played their best team on that pitch.
"It would have been difficult for us because they have got some very good players.
"But the bottom line is we have qualified and we can look forward to February.
"I am just hoping that, fingers-crossed, when we come out of the other side of the window, we have got a stronger squad.
"I was a bit disappointed, really. We both played mixed teams - we had both qualified, which made it psychologically a difficult game.
"The pitch was difficult. They play rugby on that pitch and it was heavy on the legs.
"I thought they coped better with the pitch, and they were the better side and they deserved to win.
"The truth of it is that a lot of our young players who we played tonight, I was expecting a little bit more.
"We will have a good look at them now because I don't think the opportunity is going to come around for them again this season unless we really suffer like we did tonight in terms of who was available because I didn't leave anyone behind who was fit.
"There was no strategy other than bring everyone who was fit, really, but I did have one eye on Monday, for sure.
"I was just a little bit disappointed that we didn't give it a better go in terms of trying to retrieve the situation after conceding the first goal.
"Certainly looking at my group there, I think they need to learn a little bit more about this game away from the black and white and the pressure of the jersey here and the level we are playing at.
"I will probably look at loaning a few of those who played tonight, hopefully after January when I have got a stronger position in the squad."
Source: Newcastle United Mad