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Soccer-Pardew compares match-winner Remy to Cruyff and Bergkamp

Reuters

NEWCASTLE, England, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew compared striker Loic Remy to Dutch greats Johan Cruyff and Dennis Bergkamp after his injury-time winner earned a much-needed 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.

Having hit the base of the post in the 88th minute, the French international rifled home a shot four minutes later to grab Newcastle's first goal in five matches and secure a first win for the club since Jan. 18.

The 27-year-old, who is on loan from Queens Park Rangers, took his Premier League tally this season to 12 goals on his return from a three-match ban.

"Somebody just said to me the game seemed a little bit slower when he was on the ball and I think when you get a quality player that's what they can do," Pardew told reporters.

"Players like Cruyff and Bergkamp, they can slow the game down and he can do that. He's going to be hot property, he's going to get a lot of press tomorrow."

The victory was Newcastle's first at St James' Park since late December and, while they were never in any danger of being dragged into a relegation scrap, their season appeared to be meandering to a conclusion especially after the sale of top midfielder Yohan Cabaye to Paris St Germain.

The win gave eighth-placed Newcastle 40 points and Pardew said the victory would lift some of the gloom that had enveloped the club in recent weeks.

"I was a little happier after Loic's goal went in than I was before," he added. "It was a strange game and I was beginning to wonder.

"I think we've had a decent season. The recent bad run has put pressure on my staff and my team. I don't feel comfortable with that, my staff being under pressure," said Pardew.

"You can be very resilient as a manager but I was desperate to get a result for my team and our fans who have had to be very patient. We've not been very good at home since beating Stoke on Boxing Day but the win will settle us down."

Pardew hit out at the media following speculation the 52-year-old's position at the club may have been under threat.

"I thought the media had been a little bit miserable," he said. "A couple of stories definitely aimed to put me under pressure.

"There is pressure enough in this job without having a couple of stories which were untrue."

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert said his side were worth a point.

"It's a hard one to take, very much so," he added. "I thought we deserved a draw.

"We were great in the first half, we had chance after chance and looked threatening. At the end I didn't think anyone was going to score." (Reporting by Josh Reich; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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