Pardew: Europe having no effect
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has dismissed suggestions his side's Europe exertions are affecting their Premier League performances.
The Magpies produced a sub-standard performance at home to West Ham on Sunday, going down 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal from former Newcastle player Kevin Nolan.
The result has led to theories Pardew's men are still feeling the effects of their 2-2 draw with Club Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday night.
However, speaking after the game, Pardew was quick to play down such notions.
"We had a team that was protected from that and we can have no excuses about that," Pardew told reporters.
"I didn't think it had much impact today. We've only had a couple of days to prepare but I don't really want to make an excuse about the Europa League. I think we were fresh, we had a good mindset for the game, we just didn't click today."
Pardew pointed the blame for his side's insipid performance at their slow start to proceedings at St James Park, where the home side have now lost two out of their last three Premier League fixtures.
"We wasted a part of the game that we can't afford to waste which is the start, when teams come in slightly nervous," he added.
"We knew West Ham would play a fragmented game, it would be stop-start with balls coming into our box and we had to deal with a lot of those situations, which I thought we did to be honest.
"We didn't get any rhythm or apply any pressure on them as we should as a home team, and let them get a footing in the game.
"Once they got the goal, they were a lot more confident so we wasted an opportunity there. After that we've created good pressure without really making a special moment."
Meanwhile, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes that the on-field connection between Nolan and Andy Carroll has been crucial to his side's impressive start to the season.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, the 58-year-old hailed the former Newcastle duo's almost telepathic understanding on the pitch and its huge benefit to his side's chances of success.
"I think that Kevin's relationship with Andy is such a good one that I don't need to do a lot of coaching with them two," Allardyce told reporters.
"Kevin will instinctively play off Andy and vice-versa. While Andy's struggling to get a goal, and we'd like him to get one, Kevin's the one scoring the goals because that combination is causing teams lots of problems."
The victory at St James' Park leaves West Ham with 18 points from 11 matches played, only two off Everton and the fourth Champions League place, a tally that Allardyce believes will provide his side with a good platform for the challenges of the season ahead.
"It's a fantastic start to the season for us now," he continued.
"That's the pleasing thing for me because confidence grows and grows and grows as you could see today. It was a very professional performance from the players, nobody was overawed coming here."
The former Bolton and Blackburn manager was also quick to praise the way his side kept the ball amidst common perceptions of their apparent tendency to use the long ball.
He added: "I thought our tactical approach today was spot on. Our in-possession play was very, very good and our out-of-possession (play) was nullifying what's been a fantastic attacking force at Newcastle over the last 12 months or so.
"To keep that attacking force quiet, first and foremost, was the key to success.
"I think the team will grow in terms of credit if it stays where it is (in the table) and they keep winning games of football."