Saturday 23 September 2017

It's serious for Pardew

Alan Pardew's Newcastle are second bottom in the Premier League
Alan Pardew's Newcastle are second bottom in the Premier League

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will not quit but accepted his future in the job was uncertain and expects "serious" talks with club owner Mike Ashley after the Magpies' 1-0 loss at Stoke.

Ahead of the match, Ashley - who Newcastle insist was joking with the comment - said Pardew would be ''finished'' if it ended in defeat.

The sportswear magnate then watched from the stands at the Britannia Stadium, while several Newcastle fans there held up 'Sack Pardew' signs, as the Tyneside outfit's wait for a win in the Barclays Premier League this term extended to six games.

Pardew's side have only tasted victory once in 14 league fixtures stretching back to last season, with 10 of those games ending in defeat, and they are second-bottom of the table.

Following this latest reverse, the 53-year-old said: ''I have to fight and the team have to fight and that's what we'll continue to do until we can turn it around."

He then added: "I think we'll (he and Ashley) have some serious conversations before Saturday (when Newcastle face Swansea away) because he doesn't want to lose and nor do I."

Asked how secure his position was, Pardew said: "I don't know. But I think it's my job really to show to the players that there are 32 games left to be strong and to show there is a resilience.

"We find ourselves in a position where we are not winning games and we have to put that right."

Regarding the Newcastle supporters, Pardew said: "This is a tough job - make no bones about that - and it is tough where we are at the moment. The fans are giving their honest opinion of what they believe.

"I looked at them at the end and clapped them to show I respect their views. I'm not going to hide from it.

"I know there is a big question mark about me being at this football club and the only way I can answer it is to do the job to the best of my ability and try to come up with the answers."

Pardew has no doubt the key issue for his side is a lack of cutting edge going forward and has vowed to address the problem.

Newcastle rarely looked like equalising after Stoke - who also had a decent-looking penalty shout turned down and hit the post through Marko Arnautovic - went in front via Peter Crouch's 15th-minute header.

Potters goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was only really called into action to push away one Daryl Janmaat strike, although Jack Colback missed a golden chance to level when he hit the bar late on.

Pardew, whose team have accrued three points from their six league games, said: "The last third is obviously a problem for us and we have to put that right.

"We have to find the answer. We'll have to have a look at it - make changes, change the system or something. I've got to give the team more options in terms of going forward.

"We didn't create enough - I'm not going to make any excuses. We are quite honest with ourselves in the dressing room that we need to create more.

"We had a big chance with Jack, who is beating himself up about it. If that goes in, I think we all knew what we were going to do -we were going to get the ball and try to get the winner, because we know that winning was everything tonight.

"A draw would have been as bad as a defeat really tonight. We need to get a win and get it quick."

Stoke boss Mark Hughes, meanwhile, hailed a "big" win for his side which brought their first points at home of the campaign.

"We are delighted with that," Hughes said. "It was an important win for us today, a big win.

"There has been a little bit of negativity around our home form. But we were always quite comfortable in that we felt it was only a matter of time before our home form turned around.

"And I think on the balance of play, we deserved to win the game."

Stoke moved up from 17th to 11th in the table and have eight points from their six games.

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