TOTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp has warned Newcastle they face a major fight if they are to remain among the Premier League's top four.
Shola Ameobi's late strike ensured the Magpies denied Spurs a fifth successive league win and maintained their elevated status in the table after an unbeaten start to the season which now amounts to 10 games.
However, asked if he expects the usual suspects to fight out the battle for the Champions League berths, Redknapp agreed. He said: "I don't want to be disrespectful to Newcastle, but if they finish in the top four, Alan Pardew should be made manager of the year, for sure.
"I'm not saying it's impossible -- nothing is. But if you are asking my opinion, it's going to be difficult.
"Liverpool are strong, Arsenal will come back, Tottenham are strong, and Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, well...
"But they are going very well and Alan has done a great job here."
Newcastle showed real mettle as they refused to surrender their unbeaten start to the campaign and fought back twice after falling behind.
The did so first from the penalty spot when, after Emmanuel Adebayor had been tripped, Rafael van der Vaart obliged from 12 yards.
However, Demba Ba levelled within three minutes of the restart, capitalising on Jonas Gutierrez's mazy run and pinpoint cross.
Substitute Jermain Defoe looked to have won it within five minutes of his arrival when he turned smartly to blast past Tim Krul after 68 minutes.
However, fellow newcomer Ameobi ensured that the spoils were shared when he drilled home a superb left-foot shot four minutes from time.
A delighted Pardew was refusing to reassess his targets for the season as he turned his attention to next weekend's visit of Wigan to St James' Park.
He said: If we are fortunate enough to get a result against Wigan, we will have 19 points, and be almost halfway to safety. Once you clear that, then you can start looking at other things."