Vurnon Anita impresses Newcastle manager Alan Pardew
Friday 09 November 2012
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is hoping to see the best of summer signing Vurnon Anita after witnessing a significant breakthrough in Belgium.
The 23-year-old, who joined the Magpies in a £6.7million move from Ajax, turned in his most accomplished display yet for the club in last night's remarkable 2-2 Europa League draw with Club Brugge.
Anita dragged the visitors back into the game with his first Newcastle goal after the Belgians raced into a 2-0 lead, and then saw Shola Ameobi snatch a point with a 43rd-minute equaliser.
Pardew said: "I thought everyone played well tonight, I really did. Anita had his best game for us.
"I don't care how much money you have cost or what club you have been at before, you need to play well in the new shirt and really, that's his first really good game where he looked like a class act.
"He got a great goal, he was good all night, so that was a real bonus tonight and it will give him confidence going forward."
Newcastle had to come from behind to claim their point after making a disastrous start at the Jan Breydel Stadion.
They found themselves 2-0 down within 19 minutes after first Ivan Trickovski and then Jesper Jorgensen made the most of some woeful defending.
Brugge, who went into the tie having lost their previous five games in all competitions, were in complete control until Newcastle belatedly found some fighting spirit.
Anita blasted them back into it with a 41st-minute volley and Ameobi levelled two minutes later, accepting younger brother Sammy's pass before stabbing his 14th European goal past keeper Bojan Jorgacevic.
The visitors took control of the game during the early part of the second half and might have gone ahead had substitute Yohan Cabaye's free-kick not come back off the bar, but Krul had to make a series of fine saves to keep the home side at bay in a rousing conclusion.
Pardew said: "Bruges have got real threats in their team and one or two of their players will definitely play at a higher level, in my opinion, so it's a good result for us."
Victory over Maritimo at St James' Park on November 22 would secure Newcastle's passage to the knockout stage of the competition, but they will have to do without midfielder Cheick Tiote, who collected his third booking of the European campaign and a one-game ban to go with the domestic suspension he will complete this weekend.
Pardew said: "Actually, he played like he was protecting himself tonight. People in this room who know him well will know he pulled out of about three challenges, and actually he got a booking for a silly little pull.
"It is affecting him, there's no doubt about that, and it will do for the next period.
"But he is such an important player for us. He will have to serve this new suspension and hopefully come back roaring in the Premier League because when he is at his best. He is one of the best players in the Premier League."
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