Pardew: Ashley deserves respect
Alan Pardew wants owner Mike Ashley's critics to give him some respect after watching Newcastle maintain their unbeaten start to the season. On the day that managing director Derek Llambias predicted the Magpies would break even during the current financial year after overturning huge operating losses, Pardew's team survived the sternest test yet of their right to be in the Premier League's top four. Newcastle twice had to come from behind to deny Tottenham a fifth successive league win, and it was Shola Ameobi who came from the bench to snatch a point which extended their start without a defeat to 10 games in all competitions with four minutes remaining. The Toon Army left St James' Park in celebratory mood after an enthralling contest, and Pardew urged Ashley's doubters to cut him some slack. He said: "I am hoping the owner is starting to get a little bit more respect. "I don't think we are ever going to win everybody over for Mike and Derek and maybe even myself, but at least you can logically look at it and say we are in a much better position than most Premier League clubs in terms of our financial position. "We have an owner who doesn't want to go away. He wants to invest in the team, but he wants to do it in the right manner. "We are working really hard, my scouting team and my staff, to try to bring in the best players we can on the finances we have. "[Chief scout] Graham Carr, myself, [assistant manager] John Carver, we have assembled what we think is a team that is better than last year's. "That's all we are at the minute, and let's hope we can improve from there." A pulsating encounter really caught alight five minutes before the break when Rafael van der Vaart put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot. Steven Taylor was was penalised for a foul on Emmanuel Adebayor as he burst into the penalty area - he protested at the time but later admitted referee Lee Probert had been right - and van der Vaart exacted full revenge from the spot. But Newcastle emerged for the second half in determined mood and got themselves back on terms within three minutes when Demba Ba turned Jonas Gutierrez's cross past Brad Friedel for his fifth goal in three games. Ultimately, it would be two substitutes who would take centre stage in a breathless conclusion to the game with Jermain Defoe blasting Spurs into the lead with 68 minutes gone before Ameobi arrived to snatch a point four minutes from time with an equally impressive finish. Pardew said: "We deserved something and it was important for the stadium and the fans because they could have gone away and thought, 'Well, perhaps we are a bit short'. "We ain't short. Maybe we might surprise everybody and maybe we might surprise ourselves." For Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, there was disappointment that his side had not managed to hang onto their lead in a whirlwind finish. He said: "When you are 2-1 up with minutes to go, you are looking to win the game, for sure, so it becomes disappointing. "Last year, we came here and we were losing with a couple of minutes to go and we grabbed an equaliser, so you are delighted. "But when you are winning so late in the game, you are really looking to make sure you get the three points if you can." To make matters worse, Spurs lost skipper Ledley King to an abductor muscle injury before the break, and he now faces several weeks on the sidelines. Redknapp said: "He is just a fantastic player, but his knee blows up like a balloon every time he plays, so he can't train. "He plays on Saturday and he comes out the following Friday and has a little jog around for five minutes and then plays on a Saturday, so really his body is nowhere near fit. "It can't be, so he is always open to pulling muscles, getting strains, and that's what has happened."
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