Alan: No Problems With Pair

Alan Pardew insists that Christian Dailly and Tomas Repka are the best of pals - and had no problem with them having an on-field spat on Saturday during the Sunderland game.

"You can see it any way you like but for me it shows we weren't going to settle for what was going on and it wasn't just me pulling my hair out.

"There are many cases when you see games it looks like the guys aren't trying but I can assure you that never happens.

"There were strong words said but they have respect for each other, they have both played at international level, and are both different characters who have had successful careers in their own way."

Alan says he is fully aware of the enormity of the task ahead and adds:

"There are a lot of issues at the club and for me holding it all together is not always easy, but we are trying to go from a deep downward spiral into a dart up the league.

"That isn't going to happen easily as we are finding out - but we are showing signs that the fight is there.

"Now we just have to get the right balance to the team and get the confidence levels high, which they are not at the moment."

Looking at the turnaround from 2-0 down to a 3-2 win at the weekend, he adds:

"We were all suffering up until half time and it was a difficult scenario for us; there was a real fear on the pitch and I could feel it from where I was standing.

"But you get that from passionate fans and a big crowd - they want to do well but if you are not performing they are going to let you know.

"We had to get rid of that at half time and set some positive messages at the start of the second half and also with Deano coming on we managed to turn it around.

"The power of the place then suddenly became an advantage to us and we beat a very good side."

Alan is full of praise for Brian Deane's contribution and adds:

"He is a nice steadying influence and a good character - well grounded.

"He is important to us for his contribution on the pitch which is the most important thing."