A run of two draws and three defeats followed, yet there was as much surprise in the Newcastle dressing room as there was outside of it after Ashley gave Hughton his marching orders on Monday with the Magpies 12th in the top flight.
Some of Ashley's previous appointments, including brief stints for Dennis Wise as executive director and Joe Kinnear as manager, had been criticised by fans and suspicion remains on Tyneside over the Sports Direct owner's stewardship of the club.
"Chris was much loved here and to replace him with someone from London, which they have thrown at them before, was difficult," Pardew added .
"I wasn't going to walk into the middle of the pitch, clapping the fans. They don't trust and know in what I can do but I have faith in my ability as a manger and with this group of players the response I have had has been very positive.
"We have changed a couple of things and they worked okay for us today but really it was the spirit of the group that got the victory.
"To score three goals against Liverpool, which only Manchester United and Manchester City have done, shows we have assets in the team."
Supporters gathered at St James' Park and made their opposition towards Ashley and the club's hierarchy clear ahead of the evening kick-off.
Although police and stewards were in close attendance, the demonstrations were largely peaceful.
Later Pardew received a mixed reception as he took up his place in home team's dugout ahead of kick-off.
Players right behind Pardew - Nolan
However Pardew's players gave him the perfect start, with Kevin Nolan putting the home side ahead and strikes from Joey Barton and Andy Carroll sealing victory after a Dirk Kuyt equaliser.
And captain Nolan insisted the squad was behind the new manager and fully focussed on the future.
"Any worries that Alan Pardew had, in the last few days I think we have proved to him that we are right behind him as we were with Chris," added Nolan.
"Hopefully we can work to get success for this club because that is all we want in the dressing room and that is what he wants as well."
Earlier in the week, Nolan had admitted the news of Hughton's sacking had come as a huge blow.
"I speak for all of the players when I say we were disappointed to see Chris leave the club," the Magpies skipper revealed.
"It's no secret that everyone was saddened to see him go.
"I'm sure Chris will go on to be a success wherever he goes next, and we wish him all the very best for the future and thank him for everything he achieved here."
The Reds now lie eight points adrift of the fourth Champions League place and only six points away from the relegation zone.
A 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Monday
in the absence of key players Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard had raised hopes of a consistent run of form.
But their latest reverse means they have taken only six points from their last five Premier League encounters.
"I don't know what the right word is. At the moment I am extremely disappointed," Hodgson reflected.
"I suppose I am rather angry that we could not produce a better performance.
"But I will have to get over it because if you want to work in football, you have to get over these things.
"The second goal was decisive and really a flick-on of that type should not produce a goal chance when the defence is in place, as it was, in this level of football.
"The way the first half went and getting the equaliser, I had high hopes that we would continue to play at the level we have played.
"But we didn't. We let Newcastle back into the game and furthermore, we conceded a second goal the like of which you don't really want to see when you are a coach."
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