Monday 9 December 2019

Under-fire Pardew feels the heat after St Mary's rout

Southampton 4 Newcastle 0

Southampton's Steven Davis (left) and Newcastle United's Jack Colback
Southampton's Steven Davis (left) and Newcastle United's Jack Colback
Southampton's Graziano Pelle (right) celebrates his scone goal with team-mate Dusan Tadic
Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin scores past Newcastle United's Tim Krul
Newcastle United's Jack Colback receives a yellow card from referee Chris Foy for his foul on Southampton's Shane Long
Newcastle United's Tim Krul (right) appeals for off-side after Southampton's Graziano Pelle (centre) scores his second goal
Southampton's Graziano Pelle scores during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton

Simon Peach

Under-fire Newcastle manager Alan Pardew dodged the traditional post-match press conference after his side were humbled by his former club Southampton.

A poor start to the season has seen the 53-year-old - already a divisive figure in the north east - come under increasing pressure.

A recent poll showed 85 per cent of supporters did not want Pardew to stay on as Newcastle manager and they made that clear yesterday.

Chants punctuated the thrashing at St Mary's, while a 'Pardew out' banner was held up in the away end and one angry fan even encroached on the pitch at full-time.

Perhaps wary of the scrutiny he would come under, Pardew did not attend the post-match press conference - nor did any of his staff - and only spoke to the broadcast media.

Asked if the fans' criticism was unfair, he told Sky Sports: "They're fair because you can't get beaten 4-0 as Newcastle manager. I've had it a few times and at this club it is tough to take.

"It is not easy to digest and not easy for the players either to play under those circumstances, so we have to be strong and try and tough it out this week and come back next week.

"We just have to put ourselves on the line, really, and be brave. Certainly, today, for us we have a bit more quality than we showed today, for sure, and we need to get that on the pitch."

Graziano Pelle inspired Ronald Koeman's new-look side. His brace was complemented by goals from Jack Cork and Morgan Schneiderlin.

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