October 21, 2012
Pardew: Coloccini like Bobby Moore
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew likened Fabricio Coloccini to Bobby Moore after seeing his captain turn in a superb display in a hard-fought derby draw at Sunderland.Pardew said: "Maybe if Coloccini had stayed on, he would have seen that out. He was absolutely phenomenal today."If you want an example of a centre-half playing where you have got to head it, kick it, cover people, get in the right position and then have the calmness to play, that was your example."I come from a famous football club, West Ham, and that was like watching Bobby Moore today. He was terrific. You have also got to understand - and it sometimes goes a little bit under the radar - at the Premier League level, what is asked of you physically."If we had had 11, I think he could have made the game, but because we went down to 10, there was just too much work for him and both calves tightened up. But what a performance, seriously, one of the best he has given for me, for sure.''Newcastle came within five minutes of claiming a second successive victory in enemy territory after Yohan Cabaye had given them a third-minute lead with a well-struck shot.However, Tiote's premature departure for a reckless challenge on Steven Fletcher changed the game and although the Magpies defended manfully, they were undone at the death when John O'Shea's header hit the unwitting Ba and flew past Krul.Pardew had no complaints about the sending-off which left his side facing an uphill task.He said: "I have kind of accepted in my mind to accept it. There is absolutely no doubt - and I know Cheick - that he has not tried to do the player, he is just late, if I am honest, and the referee has deemed that a red.''Sunderland have now won just one of the last 16 derbies, but perhaps more worryingly, have tasted victory only once in the 15 Barclays Premier League matches they have played since March.However, manager Martin O'Neill was relieved to have come away with a point after a performance which for too long caused the 10 men too few problems.He said: "Do you know what? When we equalised, it was one of the best moments, it really was, and to be accompanied by that noise... There's an element of relief, but every derby game I have ever been involved in either here or in Scotland, there has always been an element of relief."In the second half, sheer pressure alone probably yielded us the goal rather than anything flamboyantly brilliant."We got the goal and maybe had enough time them to go on and win it, but in the circumstances with Newcastle being down to 10 men and having defended so strongly, that would have been harsh.''