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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 23:25 GMT
Allardyce relieved to claim point
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce
Allardyce is looking for his team to build on their point against Arsenal
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce said he was a "relieved" man after seeing his team fight back to earn a 1-1 draw with Premier League leaders Arsenal.

His position had looked a little shaky following a run of poor performances and claims of player unrest.

The Magpies now face a key game against Birmingham on Saturday, but Allardyce admitted: "After what the last few results have brought, I'm relieved.

"It does take the pressure off. We'd lost our last two home games poorly."


Newcastle had picked up just one point from the previous 15 available before their game against the Gunners.

That dismal record looked set to continue when Emmanuel Adebayor put the visitors in front with a spectacular volley after just three minutes at St James' Park.

But Steven Taylor equalised on the hour mark to give the home side a deserved draw and a big confidence booster.

"Under the circumstances, it is a weight lifted off us all," said Allardyce, who is in his first season in charge of Newcastle.

"But I will keep working and not get distracted by the outside influences. We have to build on this performance and get more results and points."

The players have regained their bit of dignity and pride

Nigel Pearson
Assistant manager

He added; "I have been doing the job long enough to know I cannot let outside influences change my focus or my way of managing because I know I would not be sitting here if I was not good at what I do."

Newcastle assistant manager Nigel Pearson said the club had been through a very difficult time but was pleased with the effort of the players.

"We've had a couple of difficult weeks and a lot of criticism has come our way," he said.

"People have been asking questions about our application and commitment and I think the last two performances have gone in the right direction to putting that right.

"The players have regained their bit of dignity and pride because it was a very good performance.

If we play with passion like we showed against Arsenal we won't go far wrong

Newcastle forward Alan Smith

"We have to sustain this now. We are very pleased but it's important we don't go complacent. It's a step in the right direction but there's more work to do yet."

Forward Alan Smith said the quality of the performance against the Gunners showed that the side has the ability to start climbing the table.

"I think tonight showed everyone is 100% behind everything we're doing," said Smith, whose team are in 11th place in the Premier League with 19 points.

"We need everyone together and we showed that. With commitment like that we can only go forward. If we play with passion like that we won't go far wrong."

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