Pardew draws battle lines
Manager Alan Pardew has come out fighting as he attempts to steer Newcastle out of the relegation mire.
The 51-year-old has come under intense pressure from outside, if not inside, the club since Saturday's 6-0 Barclays Premier League drubbing by Liverpool at St James' Park. And neighbours Sunderland suffered a 6-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Monday which nudged Pardew's side a place further down the table.
Newcastle will now head for West Ham desperate for a win having taken just a point from their past three games and Pardew told the Chronicle: "Yes. We have had a really, really poor month in terms of results. Now we have to stick together and get through it."
He added: "As I've said before, words don't win games. They are not important any more.
"The performance we put in was unacceptable. It wasn't good enough for us. We are aware of that and we need to put it right.
Despite concerted calls for his head over the weekend, Pardew remains in post and is facing the biggest challenge of his tenure to date with a trip to relegated QPR and Arsenal's visit to St James' to come after the game at Upton Park and only five points separating the Magpies from renowned battlers Wigan, who have a game in hand.
He said: "Even after (Europa League quarter-final exit against) Benfica, a few of the players perhaps thought after that game, we would be all right.
"But we have got one point from three league games, and that's not good enough for this football club.
"Now we are in a dogfight - and we have got to fight. We have got enough character and belief in that dressing room to get through it. We have got to show that now."