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After the substitute rescued his side a point, the manager reiterates the importance of a strong squad and says his side have bridged the gap to the top sides

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has praised his side’s strength in depth, claiming it proved key in earning his side a 2-2 draw against Tottenham.

The home boss was speaking after he watched his side come from a goal down on two occasions to rescue a point against Spurs, with Shola Ameobi coming off the bench to score the second.

A number of the Newcastle players were away on international duty in mid-week, and Pardew believes the extra workload on his players adds extra importance on the squad as a whole.

He told reporters: “After an international break the subs are important because people have had long international trips.

“There were times today where that told and both teams gave the ball away more cheaply than we would have liked.

"Both sets of subs did make an impact although it doesn’t always happen like that. It just goes to show that the squad is very important. We have got a good spirit.”

Pardew also praised his side for how much they have progressed since last season, claiming the close nature of the contest with Tottenham proves how far they have come as a side.

He continued: “There wasn’t a lot in it and that is a good sign, last season there was a fair distance between us and the top sides.

“We have closed that gap and now we will need our key players to sustain it. To stand here still unbeaten is a fantastic achievement.”

Despite Newcastle’s impressive start to the season, having not lost any of their opening eight Premier League games, the manager insists his side are not getting ahead of themselves and that their season objectives remain the same.

Pardew insisted: "We are not having to re-assess our own targets.

"We have our targets that we think are achievable for us in the short term for this half of the season and we will stick to them."

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