thumbnail Hello,

A second-half strike from Hatem Ben Arfa earned the Magpies a 1-1 draw with Paul Lambert's side to save a point following a disjointed performance on Sunday afternoon

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew bemoaned his side's "funny" performance during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

The Magpies fell behind to a Ciaran Clark strike on 22 minutes before Hatem Ben Arfa saved their blushes with a fine hit from distance in the second half.

And Pardew expressed his frustration following the game, describing aspects of the Tyneside outfit's performance as "awful".

"I can't say that we deserved to win and I could argue that Villa deserved to win, but I will take the draw," he told Sky Sports.

7/1 Newcastle are 7/1 with William Hill to finish in the Premier League's top four
"I thought we were a bit funny today. For us, we lacked a bit of discipline in areas and our set-plays were awful.

"It was a really frustrating game from a coaching point of view. There was lots of excitement and a fantastic wonder-goal for us, with chances at both ends.

"I think we had the bulk of the play and we were better in the second half, but they still had chances to have won it themselves.

"Fair play to Paul and his team. I don't think we will come across many teams that work as hard as them as they really worked hard."

The former Southampton boss went on to praise the goalscorer, Ben Arfa, and had kind words for the Villans, who came into the game on the back of two Premier League defeats.

"He's been our bright spark, certainly our player of the month as he's been terrific," Pardew said of the Frenchman, "but we've got one or two who are below par and we have to try and get them up to speed.

"It will be difficult to match what we did last year, and we are trying to have a go. It's been a good start by us, not a brilliant start, but a good, steady start.

"We've had some tough games and we caught Villa at the wrong time. After two defeats they were determined to come here and show an effort, and they really did work hard."