Newcastle United 1 - 2 Reading

Match info: Premier League at St James' Park, Newcastle

Date: 19/01/2013 KO: 15:00 Ref: A Marriner Att: 49,411

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers


Yohan Cabaye 35



Adam Le Fondre 71,77

FT (ht: 1-0)

  • Last Updated: January 20 2013, 13:03 GMT

Under-fire Newcastle boss Alan Pardew insisted he is strong enough to take the tide of criticism which came his way after a demoralising home defeat by Reading.

Alan Pardew remains defiant

The 51-year-old saw his relegation-threatened side squander a 1-0 lead against one of only four Barclays Premier League sides worse off than them to lose 2-1 after Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to pile on the agony with a second-half double.

Pardew's three second-half substitutions were all booed by the home fans, and there were further jeers on the final whistle as they slipped to a 10th league defeat in 13 outings.

Newcastle have won just three of the 18 league games they have played since the manager signed his eight-year contract in September last year, and his stock has slipped alarmingly as a result, but he remained defiant this evening.

Pardew said: "I am strong enough and have been in situations before where I can deal with where we are at.

"But I think it's obvious that the team wants a result. That would help every situation."

Pardew is hoping an injection of new blood - full-back Mathieu Debuchy made his home debut as the club agreed a fee with Montpellier for central defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa - will help to turn things around, and the new recruits cannot arrive quickly enough.

He said: "We are lacking impetus. A result perhaps would have given us some impetus today, but we didn't get it, so therefore we need to look to strengthen the team.

"That's somewhere we can get some impetus and give me some options I think will work for us.

"The 10-day break will also give us a chance to get Steven Taylor up top speed. He's only had four days' training, so he wasn't really available for today, and he will add to us.

"But we definitely need two or three more players in this group, and hopefully we can get them over the line before we go to Villa.

"I would like to go to Villa stronger than I was today."

Newcastle dominated the first 45 minutes and but for Reading keeper Adam Federici, who pulled off a string of fine saves, could have gone in at the break with the points all but banked.

However, they had only Yohan Cabaye's superb 35th-minute free-kick to show for their efforts, and that was to prove costly.

As good as they had been in the first half, they were as poor in the second to allow the Royals back into a game which should have been beyond them, and Brian McDermott's battlers took full advantage.

They were level with 19 minutes remaining when substitute Le Fondre bundled Jimmy Kebe's cross over the line with virtually his first touch.

Le Fondre cashed in on some woeful defending six minutes later to snatch a precious victory, firing into the bottom corner with the home defence in tatters.

The crowd reaction as Pardew made his changes - he later admitted he would not have withdrawn Sylvain Marveaux had he known Cabaye would limp off nine minutes later - and again at the end of the game told their own story, and there is a growing acceptance on Tyneside that what was initially seen as a blip has developed into a full-blown crisis.

McDermott, who joined the Royals during Pardew's reign, was understandably delighted with a second fightback victory in a week.

He said: "Adam Federici pulled off a couple of really good saves in the first half which proved to be match-winning saves.

"Pavel Pogrebnyak had a real chance in the first half before they scored and we could have been 1-0 up.

"But you come here and they get to 1-0 up and then it's never going to be easy. But I thought in the second half, we upped our game.

"You have to manage games. You have to stay in the game and once Newcastle didn't get a second goal, we knew we were in with a shout the longer the game went on."

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