Alan Pardew has criticised the quality of Maritimo’s pitch after both teams fired blanks in a lethargic goalless draw.
The uneven surface was a definite factor in the Toon Army’s slow start in Portugal, but despite this Pardew still believes his side did enough to win.
The ex-West Ham boss stated to The Journal, “I thought the pitch was of a very poor standard. Both teams suffered from it.
“But I’m probably the happier of the two managers as we didn’t suffer any more injuries. The performance of the team was outstanding.
“The first ten minutes of the game I thought they were in control and I am disappointed we didn’t get the win with the chances we had at the end.”
Pleased to pick up an away point the 51 year old now has the relief of knowing his next two European ties are at home, with Bordeaux and Club Brugge next up in the Europa League.
Pardew added, “Now it will be easier for us as we have to home games successively. It will be like a normal week for us.”