Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hailed his side’s ‘fantastic’ performance in their 3-0 win over Bordeaux in the Europa League on Thursday.
Bordeaux came into the game on a 17-match unbeaten run but were outplayed by a dominant Newcastle, with strikes from Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse and an own goal from Henrique sealing the result.
Pardew told ESPN: “What pleased me most was that there was an energy again. We looked more like ourselves from last year, the performance level was fantastic, and that is a good sign. We had to play very, very well tonight to make that as comfortable as it was.
“I can’t say the result flattered us, I thought in the end we deserved to win by a distance. We knocked the spirit out of them with the goals and the clinical nature of them.
“Our passing in the second half made it very difficult for them to get back into the game, and it is something we have been working on, controlling games, but that was a team that hadn’t lost for 17 games, that is a great result for us.
“Obviously it wasn’t a game we had to fight for, where the last 20 minutes its helter-skelter and we’re one end to the other and killing ourselves.
“We’ve kind of been able to relax towards the end of that game, and we need to because we’ve got Man United on Sunday. So in terms of a manager for me it was a perfect night.”
Pardew’s sentiments were echoed by Ameobi, who netted from close range for his first goal of the season.
The striker said he was delighted to get off the mark.
“Obviously as a striker you want to get off the mark as quickly as possible. I was missing at the start of the season with an injury, so I’m just delighted to get a chance there today,” Ameobi said.
“The other strikers at the club are doing very well at the moment, so I have to take my chance when I get it.
“The team were fantastic and the side that was out there wanted it, you could see it, players who probably haven’t been playing as much showed the manager that they want to be in that starting eleven week in, week out.
“It bodes well for the team and for the city.”
Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot conceded his side were inferior on the night but said they had their chances to make it a tighter contest.
“I think we came up against a better side and that was clear from the outset,” Gillot said.
“There were certainly a lot better in terms of finishing. I don’t feel that we were dominated tonight and we created quite a few chances.
“Every time they had a chance though they put the ball in the back of the net whereas we missed our chances.
“That was the difference between us.”