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Toon boss delighted with goalless draw but thinks his side should have been awarded penalty of their own as survival looks almost certain


By Greg Stobart at St James' Park

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has claimed referee Lee Probert was right not to award Manchester United a penalty in the dying stages of the 'tremendous' goalless draw between the sides at St James' Park.

United striker Javier Hernandez went down in the penalty box under a challenge from Danny Simpson, only to be booked for diving by Probert to the disgust of visitors' players and staff.

Pardew insists it was the correct decision – and he feels the real injustice was Probert's failure to point to the spot for a first-half challenge by Anderson on Newcastle striker Peter Lovenkrands.

Pardew said: “My heart sank. I thought the referee would give it knowing the history of Manchester United, their last-minute goals, the team they are and the manager they have.

“I honestly thought the referee would give it, so you have to applaud him for the decision he made.

“Danny stuck a leg out but he just withdrew it at the last minute. In the last minute I don't criticise the player for taking the opportunity to go down but the referee got the decision right and we got a deserved draw.

“I've reviewed them both. At the time I thought Peter's was a definite penalty because he's such an honest character and he wouldn't go down if he wasn't clipped.

“It would have been hugely frustrating to lose at the end. We made a point of really getting after them at the start of the game. We deserved a goal in that period and I feared for us when we didn't score.

“In the second-half they caused us all sorts of problems. They moved us around and caused us all sorts of problems. Our discipline and our resilience carried us through.

“We were out on our feet in the end. It was a tremendous night for Newcastle United. The stadium was great, it was great to see the crowd's response at the end. They appreciated we did our very best.”

The result takes Newcastle to the 40-point mark, seven points clear of the relegation zone and sitting 10th in the Premier League with five games to play.

Pardew believes the club are now safe from the threat of relegation thanks to draw against a Manchester United side he remains convinced will win the title.

“Forty points looks good and you would think with our goal difference it will be enough with five games to go.

“We still have a great opportunity to finish in the top 10, which we can be very proud of considering the suspensions we've had and the player [Andy Carroll] we lost in the January transfer window.

“I think Man United will win the title. They are the best team we've played in terms of the quality they have and the options they have. Going into this final stretch, I can't see past them.

“Some of the things Man United do is what we aspire to, the movement and calmness in possession is the next step.

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