We’re absolutely elated to have beaten Norwich City - Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said his players were 'elated' to have beaten the Canaries and kept up their challenge for a European place.
'I'm really proud of the players today,' said Pardew after Papiss Cisse's goal secured a 1-0 win at St James' Park.
'I think we knew in the dressing room we weren't a totally balanced side today and that we had to give a little bit more. We certainly did that.
'It could well be one of our most important wins of the season because I thought Norwich came here and played with an assurance. It's easy to look at someone like them and not give them the respect they're due. We didn't. We knew it was going to be tough and my players are absolutely elated to have beaten them.'
Pardew praised James Perch for his performance in midfield as he revamped his side because of injuries.
He said: 'We had eight senior players missing today and we've got four or five out for the season. We've been a bit unlucky with injuries. Everybody's pulling together to try to get us the wins we need.
'I think it is important when you play someone like Norwich who play five midfield players, that you have a tackler in there. And my goodness, James showed that from the first three minutes when he won a tackle he had no right to win.
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'With the extra midfield players Norwich had, they started to get a grip at times but if you manage to contain it and deal with it, you've got two goalscorers on the pitch and that might have been the difference today.'
Cisse's 11th-minute winner pleased his boss, who said he could have had a hat-trick. 'I thought he had his best game for us today,' said Pardew. 'Not just the fact that he threatened the goal, but his link-up play was right up there with the best in this division.
'I'm really pleased he got the goal and he perhaps should have had two more. In training he bangs three or four goals in quick succession. It surprised me that he missed some of them.'
Pardew said it was not classic football but a real contest. 'There wasn't much theatre today but there was a real professionalism on the pitch,' he said. 'Both teams put in a full stint and kind of stopped the other playing a little bit. The flair players could have offered a little more 'Je ne sais quoi' today but my goodness, it was a real battle – and it's nice to win a battle. We're not firing on all cylinders, we're not balanced and we're not at our best. But if you can win when you're not at your best it's a great ingredient to have.'