ALAN Pardew got the win he craved as Newcastle fought back to beat former club Southampton and complete a good week.
Newcastle United - Sissoko (33), Cisse (42), Cabaye (pen 67), Hooiveld (og 79)
Southampton - Scheiderlin (3), Lambert (50)
The Magpies, who booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League in Ukraine last week, added three priceless Barclays Premier League points to their haul to ease themselves six clear of the relegation zone.
For Pardew, who was sacked by the Saints in August 2010, the win – his side’s third in four league games – served up a measure of revenge for November’s 2-0 defeat on the South Coast, but more importantly, allowed him to start looking upwards once again rather than anxiously over his shoulder.
They fell behind to Morgan Schneiderlin’s third-minute strike, but Moussa Sissoko’s third goal for the club and a superb Papiss Cisse volley gave them the advantage at the break.
Rickie Lambert, a player who was given his Saints chance by Pardew, levelled five minutes into the second half, but Yohan Cabaye’s 67th-minute penalty and a Jos Hooiveld own goal 11 minutes from time ensured that the points stayed on Tyneside.
Pardew has now demanded top-four form from his team after seeing them edge themselves clear of the battle for Barclays Premier League survival.
The Magpies hauled themselves into 14th place in the table as a result of a 4-2 victory over Southampton at St James’ Park, their third league win in four attempts.
Pardew later revealed he had told his players they would need to rediscover the form which propelled them into the European places last season if they were to address their concerns ahead of the first game in that sequence, a 2-1 win at struggling Aston Villa, and he has been delighted with their response since.
He said: “We have had three wins out of four in that period and that has set us up nicely for the run-in now. That’s the form we have got to maintain for the rest of the season. You look at the Premier League table and we have now put ourselves in a position to attack 10th, and that was the importance of the victory today. It wasn’t about anything else for me, and that’s how I tried to get the players’ mindset.
“I said to them afterwards, we should attack the top ten now, and we can with this team.
Of Cisse’s stunning volley, he said: “It was a wonder-goal, an Alan Shearer-type moment. That’s one of the goal that will certainly get into Papiss Cisse’s top 10, that’s for sure. As soon as he hit it, you sensed it was in. He has got that in him, Papiss, he can get all types of goals.”
However, Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino was convinced Cisse’s strike should have been chalked off, citing a foul on defender Nathaniel Clyne and an offside decision which was not given during the build-up.
He said: “For their second goal, it is clear that there was a foul on Clyne, and then that was followed up by an offside. It’s not a complaint, but these are details that had an influence on the end-result of the match.”