Toon stopper Karl Darlow: I’m no Newcastle hero

“Jamaal has been excellent since he stepped into the team and we need leaders,” added Darlow. “And that tackle was a big moment for us.

“We need people that not many thought would come through this season to do something.

“Hopefully, we can play out part to the end and keep this club up.”

This was a day of heroes and villains, though it was Cabaye who bore the brunt of the home crowd’s wrath rather than Alan Pardew,.

The former Toon boss was largely ignored before deciding to skip his media duties with the written press.

His No. 2 Keith Millen did reveal that Pardew had expected a far worse reception from the crowd.

“I walked out with him and I think we were both bracing ourselves for a hostile one,” he said. “But there was nothing.

“The Newcastle fans realised they had bigger things to worry about than Alan’s return and they really got behind their team in the second half.”

By then Palace had already disproved Sam Allardyce’s claim they would roll over. They might have lost but were the better side for 45 minutes and fought to the end.

Millen added: “You cannot deny the cup final is a distraction. It’s the biggest game of all our lives so it is difficult.

“But we are doing the right things and actually tried to up the training so as not to give them any licence to get a little sloppy.

“No one could ever accuse us of not giving it a go in the first half. Even in the second it was not our lack of energy which let us down, more Newcastle coming on really strong.”

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