The Magpies manager jokes that "panto season" had arrived as allegations of spitting and brawling broke out on the sidelines towards the end of their 1-1 draw on SaturdayNewcastle manager Alan Pardew bemoaned the "pathetic" touchline bust-up that marred the end of his side's 1-1 draw with Southampton.
Heated exchanges broke out between the two benches after substitute Morgan Schneiderlin's lunge deep into stoppage time on Davide Santon. The Frenchman was booked but playing and coaching staff from both sides got to their feet as the situation threatened to boil over.
Saints goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez was alledged to have spat at his Newcastle counterpart, Andy Woodman, and while neither boss claimed to have seen the whole incident, both were keen to pour cold water over the situation at the full-time whistle.
Asked by the press if the ugly scenes had overshadowed what was an engrossing match, Pardew replied: "It wasn't a brawl and [the match] wasn't spoilt. It was panto season and it was all pretty pathetic, from my point of view."
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Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino condemned the incident, remarking: "I think what happened at the end of the game is not a good example, it's not good for football. From our point of view we're going to try our best to make sure it doesn't happen again because it is not good for anyone.
"I had my back to it as I was too busy watching the game and, as soon as I turned around, everyone was involved in it so I couldn't see why or how it started. In a high-intesity game such as that, any little spark can lead to something else and I think that's what happened."
On the pitch, Southampton were dragged back into the game by the half-time substitution of Adam Lallana and the England international drew praise from his former boss, Pardew.
"Lallana made the difference when he came on. I think he definitely has a chance of going to the World Cup," said the Newcastle boss.
Of his absence from the starting XI, Pochettino explained: "Adam had a slight injury and he wasn't fully fit to play the 90 minutes. We're not going to take any risks with our players.
"We thought he could come of the bench as a sub and have an impact and we're delighted with the way that he did."