Newcastle United vs. Reading  1 - 2


Pardew: Cabaye was injured

19 January 2013 19:54

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said he was forced to substitute Yohan Cabaye because of a groin injury in Newcastle's 2-1 defeat to Reading.

The 27-year-old's withdrawal was received with boos and jeers from the home supporters on Saturday, but the Newcastle boss insisted he had little choice with the midfielder recently missing two months of action due to a similar problem.

And the 51-year-old manager suggested he needs to make new signings to boost the morale of the squad, who are just two points above the Premier League relegation zone.

"(Cabaye) said to me five minutes before he came off that he was injured, he was struggling with his groin," he told reporters.

"If one of the top players says that, I'm not going to go against his wishes to come off.

"I didn't want to take him off, trust me - we needed another moment but that's how it was at the time.

"We had to take Cabaye and that gave an adverse reaction by the crowd and the negativity spread around and spread to the team and that's where we are.

"We can't get away from that and we need to be able to play through it, and we lost our way a little bit."

Pardew admitted he was desperate to add to his squad after losing Demba Ba to Chelsea and seeing Loic Remy opt for a move to QPR rather than St James' Park.

"We need some impetus, there's no doubt in the team. We've lost Demba Ba and we've lost Cheik (Tiote to the Africa Cup of Nations) and they're big players for us," he said.

"Although Yohan was back today he's on his recovery really. We're trying to get him back as quick as we can and we couldn't risk him unfortunately and we needed him at that end period of the game.

"We need some impetus in terms of signings, we need a little boost to let everyone get their heads up."

Pardew was happy with his side's first-half performance against the Royals, but lamented their inability to add to Cabaye's 36th-minute free kick.

"I think first half we couldn't have played any better under the circumstances," he said.

"You could see the extra quality we had on the pitch with Cabaye and at that point you'd like to think we were away from them.

"But second half we couldn't get a grip of the game and you have to say that Reading bossed that period, and as well as we defended at times we've given away two sloppy goals."

And the manager dismissed questions about his future, claiming he can get the Magpies through their tough run.

"I'm strong enough, and have been in situations before so that I can deal with where we're at, but I think it's obvious that the team want a result and that would help every situation," he said.

Reading boss Brian McDermott, meanwhile, hailed goalkeeper Adam Federici's first-half performance as several saves kept the Royals in touch before substitute Adam Le Fondre struck twice in six minutes to turn the game on its head.

"Adam Federici pulled off a couple of really good saves in the first half which proved to be match-winning saves," he told reporters.

"Adam Le Fondre comes on and does what Adam does, two fantastic finishes.

"I've been proud of the lads all season, we've been learning the league.

"We haven't had money to spend, we've not spent fortunes - we paid 300,000 pounds-ish for Adam Le Fondre and you wouldn't buy his right sock for that now.

"We do what we do at our club and we've been quite successful over a period of time."


Premier League: Newcastle 1 Reading 2

19 January 2013 18:23

Newcastle slipped further into the Premier League relegation mire as Reading boosted their own survival chances with a 2-1 win at St James' Park.

The hosts took the lead on 36 minutes as Yohan Cabaye curled a perfect free kick past Adam Federici, but substitute Adam Le Fondre struck twice in six second-half minutes to secure the Royals' second consecutive comeback victory.

The game was slow to get going but Reading had a great chance to score in the 12th minute as Jimmy Kebe raced onto a long ball down the right flank, but could only cut into Mike Williamson as he reached the box.

The hosts responded brilliantly and after Cabaye had a near-post effort saved by Federici, he clipped a lovely ball into Papiss Cisse in the box, but the onrushing Australian tipped Cisse's header behind.

Cisse was denied by a superb Alex Pearce block on 26 minutes, and Reading's Garath McCleary stormed down the left immediately afterward, cutting the ball to Pavel Pogrebnyak who could only turn the ball wide on the slide from 12 yards.

Cisse was kept out again by the Reading 'keeper, who saved from point-blank range after Mathieu Debuchy burst down the right and found the Senegal striker with a superb cross.

Newcastle finally made the breakthrough after the half-hour. Sylvain Marveaux was felled making his way towards the area and Cabaye stepped up to curl a perfect free kick into the top corner from 20 yards.

Reading had the better of things after the break, but had little to show for their dominance. Ian Harte curled a free kick that was almost deflected in by a Newcastle leg, before Pogrebnyak rasped an effort well over the bar from 20 yards out.

Reading did get themselves level on 71 minutes as Kebe was afforded too much space on the right and he whipped a dangerous ball across goal that substitute Le Fondre bundled home with his first touch.

Alan Pardew responded by replacing the superb Cabaye with Gael Bigirimana to the home fans' fury and they were apoplectic soon after as Le Fondre pounced on Hope Akpan's scuffed shot to bury his second and complete the Royals' comeback.

The hosts had a great chance to level scores late in the game, but Cisse could only shank his effort over as the ball landed at his feet eight yards out.


Santon targeting Reading win

18 January 2013 14:25

Newcastle full-back Davide Santon has warned his team-mates they 'cannot lose' when they face Reading at St James' Park on Saturday.

After finishing fifth last season - and remaining in the chase for Champions League qualification until the last few weeks of the campaign - Alan Pardew's side have suffered a dramatic downturn in form, and sit just three points off the relegation zone.

Santon, 22, has featured in all of Newcastle's league games this season and believes a morale-boosting win over fellow relegation strugglers Reading could kick-start his team's season.

"(The game against Reading) is so important," Santon told the club's official website.

"Reading at home? We cannot lose, we cannot draw, we just have to win.

"After we hopefully win that game, that is where our season starts. We still have a lot of games left where we can pick up good results. Our minds have to be only on win, win, win, and nothing else."

A loss for Newcastle could see them end the weekend inside the relegation zone, with games against Chelsea and Tottenham on the horizon.


Premier League preview: Newcastle v Reading

16 January 2013 17:38

Alan Pardew insists Newcastle are not yet a club in crisis but a loss to lowly Reading on Saturday may trigger the panic button.

A revelation last season, Pardew's side are now angling dangerously towards the relegation zone with only a two-point cushion back to Wigan and Aston Villa, who have now slipped into the mire.

Last week's goalless stalemate at Norwich represented Newcastle's first point in four league games and while it was a form of progress, it extended their winless run away from home this season.

Newcastle's raw patch has seen them collect only seven points in their past 12 Premier League games.

Centre-back Fabricio Colocinni, who has asked to leave the club this January, played the full game at Carrow Road while instrumental midfielder Yohan Cabaye played his first minutes since the start of November.

The Frenchman's absence along with compatriot Hatem Ben Arfa has been glaring in a run of games that has lacked the duo's customary spark.

The Colocinni issue will likely drag on through the transfer window, while Pardew has another big hole to fill up front given Demba Ba's sudden move to Chelsea.

The loss of Ba will hurt Newcastle dearly but it at least provides Papiss Cisse with a chance to assume the lone striker role after struggling for much of the season alongside his departed Senegalese team-mate.

Cisse rose to stardom with 13 goals in his first 12 games following his move from Bundesliga side Freiburg in last season's transfer window but is a player, like many at Newcastle, down on confidence.

Pardew admitted as much during the week but after reportedly tying up a deal for Marseille front man Loic Remy, the deal now appears to have stalled and he may instead be off to bottom-of-the pile QPR - a deal that would sum up Newcastle's lacklustre season to date.

"Papiss needs help and, unfortunately, I couldn't give him that," Pardew said of last Sunday's game.

"I haven't got another striker who I think is at the level that there should be at this football club."

Brian McDermott's Reading keep plugging along despite many pundits writing off the club as an obvious relegation candidate.

The Royals are nothing if not entertaining and provided yet another nail-biting finish at the Madejski Stadium to come from two goals down to defeat West Brom 3-2.

The precious three points provides another shot in the arm and edges them ever closer to safety, something that looked unlikely midway through December.

McDermott has already bolstered his squad this January with the acquisitions of Hope Akpan from Crawley Town, Fulham right-back Stephen Kelly and Sporting Lisbon's former captain Daniel Carrico.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25