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Magpies boss also rues loss of Shola Ameobi

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admits that his side were "a little misshapen" after their 1-0 defeat to Fulham at the Cottage.

The Magpies experienced a difficult encounter in what was a competitive joust with the London outfit, but it was a goal from former Newcastle player Damien Duff which set the difference between the two sides.

Manager Pardew was satisfied with his team’s display but admitted that they were lacking defensively, and stated that the first goal was crucial to secure all three points.

“Even though we were diligent, we could have been a lot better,” said Pardew.

“A little bit missing tonight, a bit off on some of our passing but so were they and there wasn’t much in it, and they team who scored first was going to win."

Newcastle’s strike force was under intense pressure following Andy Carroll’s £35 million departure to Anfield on transfer deadline day, but the Magpies suffered yet another setback with attacker Shola Ameobi requiring attention after 10 minutes, and revealed to be a fractured cheek bone which will put the 29-year-old out of action for at least four weeks.

Pardew was not impressed, and stated that he will have to adapt the team's tactics to suit his current strikers.

“That [the injury] obviously hasn’t helped our cause, we are really light now and need to be careful,” claimed Pardew.

"The diagnosis for Shola Ameobi isn't good, he has got a dent in his cheek bone which suggests he may have fractured it. It was a big blow to us in the game and it affected our game plan. Shola has been very important for us, his performances have been very good and it was a blow to lose him so early."

“We put a system out on the pitch so we could score goals. We’ve had good goals in the side but there's no doubt that Shola’s injury is a blow.

“We need to make sure we play our game to suit the strikers we have now.”

The 49-year-old boss remains disappointed at the end result and claims that it was his side’s failure to defend and exposure at the back which ultimately set the difference between the squads.

“I am disappointed as we did really well tonight, but just got caught on a corner and I think that it was our recoveries that were a little misshapen, which left us in 1-on-1 situations at the back which is unlike us," he added.

“We had some good performances tonight, but it was a real tight affair with a side in form.

“We’ve got 30 points but we need to make sure that we build on that."

Pardew was unhappy with the pitch at the Cottage, and felt that his side lost their way because of it, but praised ‘keeper Steve Harper and defender Jose Enrique for their performances.

He said: "I was disappointed the game was so scrappy. The pitch made it difficult for us and Fulham. No side could string 10 passes together, it was more like two, three, four passes. I felt we lost our way a bit during the game.

"Steve Harper in goal was terrific. Jose Enrique, even though on the goal he was slightly at fault, he was absolutely outstanding at left-back. He is one of the best left-backs in this division."

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