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The Magpies' unbeaten run came to an end at the Etihad Stadium, but the manager feels their is no point dwelling on the negatives and is thrilled to have Hatem Ben Arfa back

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes that despite his side's unbeaten run coming to an end in Saturday's 3-1 loss against Manchester City, his players can take encouragement.

Trailing 2-0 at half-time, Newcastle came out in the second half and asked questions of their hosts, with Danny Guthrie forcing Joe Hart into a fine save and Hatem Ben Arfa hitting the post, before Sergio Aguero put the result beyond doubt with City's third, with Dan Gosling netting a late consolation goal.

And Pardew was proud with the pressure his side put on their hosts and the way they performed throughout.

“We can take confidence that we were level for 40 minutes and then matched them in the second half,” the manager told reporters.

“You can get negative on yourself, but you could see in the dressing room there is genuine belief and in the second half, we were hunting that next goal.

“We knew it would be crucial and if we had got it, suddenly it could have been very different.”

Pardew also reserved particular praise for the returning Hatem Ben Arfa, who made his first league start since breaking his leg at the same venue 13 months ago.

“He did some great stuff up front for us, but look at his work at the other end [of the pitch], too” Pardew added.

“He gave me energy and that extra quality. Hopefully, he can take us forward.”

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