Plus Points For Pards

ALAN Pardew admitted that his team took a host of positives away from St James' Park after watching his side do more than enough to earn a point off Newcastle United.

Playing with 10 men for much of the second-half after Paul Konchesky was controversially sent off for a foul on Jermaine Jenas West Ham United produced a determined performance to deny the Magpies and return to East London with a richly deserved point.

Pards was delighted with the performance, but less so with the red card, which he confessed may have denied his side even more from their trip to the North East.

"There are so many pluses that we can take from the game," admitted the Hammers boss. "We looked like a really solid team and gave an excellent collective performance.

"The new players have come in and added to the tremendous spirit that we've built around the squad. They've enhanced the team and it's showing in our performances.

"Outside of that we had some individual performances against Newcastle that will have really made people sit up and take note. The two centre-backs, Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon were absolutely magnificent and in midfield Nigel Reo-Coker and Hayden Mullins were excellent for us.

"If you look through the centre of our pitch we had some tremendous performances. The backbone of the team is really important at any level, but particularly in the Premier League.

"We've got a lot of pace and quality in that area and I thought we coped very well in that part of the pitch against Newcastle.

"It was a terrific performance and I just feel that if we had 11 men on the pitch for the second-half we might have got even more out of the game. We were playing some really nice football, moving the ball around quickly, creating space for ourselves. Unfortunately, the sending-off changed all that."

After the match Pards went into the match officials room armed with a laptop to show referee Dermot Gallagher a replay of the incident. The outcome of that meeting did not please the Hammers boss.

"I will be appealing the decision," revealed Alan. "I think Paul went to ground and won the ball cleanly before he even touched the player. I've seen it from a number of different angles and I come to the same conclusion that it wasn't a foul.

"My opinion of the incident isn't going to change, but I hope Dermot's opinion does because after the game he still thought it was a foul.

"I showed him the replay three or four times and he was adamant that it was a foul. But I don't think there were too many other people inside St James' Park that felt that way.

"I've been in the ground before when there's been a really tight decision and the place goes absolutely berserk. It didn't this time and I think there was genuine surprise around the stadium even from the Newcastle faithful because I don't think they could quite believe Paul was sent off."

Alan also praised the Hammers travelling contingent who raised the St James' Park roof at times and clearly enjoyed their first away day back in the Premier League.

"Our fans were fantastic and gave us tremendous support in the North East," he admitted. "We could hear them all afternoon and I was glad we could give them a strong performance and above all a point to take back to London.

"The team is confident at the moment because we've had two really good results to start off with. It's important now that we keep the momentum going and keep our focus and concentration.

"It's tough to come to St James' Park and get something, but at the end of the game we were genuinely disappointed that we hadn't got more out of the game, because we felt that we were playing well enough to score.

"Obviously the sending off had a big affect on the match, but we dug in to secure the point and so far so good."