Allardyce remains positive
Sam Allardyce believes he must provide leadership during Newcastle's nightmare run
Last Updated: 04/12/07 6:15pm
Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce believes he must stand firm and provide leadership as the club goes through a nightmare run.
The Magpies have not won in five league games to give Allardyce sleepless nights and put him under increasing pressure from the St James' Park faithful.
But it will be difficult for Newcastle to end that losing run as their next opponents at St James's Park on Wednesday night are league leaders Arsenal, in a game which will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 at 7.45pm.
Speaking before the crucial game, Allardyce admitted Newcastle's poor league run was costing him sleep.
He added: "I don't really sleep much anyway, to be honest with you, even less when I am in a position like I am in now, because you want to look at yourself first.
"You are the one who has to change what you need to change and the way you are going to go about your job is very important in terms of the people who look up to see if they get the leadership they need to pull them through it.
"I know I can do that. We know at the end of the day, if we all stick together and produce performances at the sort of level we did on Saturday, we will.
"I have got to reinforce that with the players and show them the way forward, and they have got to keep believing in themselves and us as a unit and come through the difficult period we are in.
"We are all uncomfortable with the situation at the moment, we are all getting a little bit desperate.
"But at the end of the day, the judgment comes at 38 games for me, not at 14."
Allardyce is looking forward to the Arsenal game, adding: "It would be a terrific victory if we could achieve it and, at this particular time, the most important one.
"The key element to begin with is to stop the opposition because this is Arsenal, probably the best team in the Premier League at the moment home and away."
Allardyce's comments come after goalkeepers Shay Given and Steve Harper - Newcastle's two longest-serving players - gave their public backing to Allardyce on Wednesday.
They moved to quickly rubbish a claim of a player revolt after the side's heavy defeat by Liverpool on 24th November.
Defenders Abdoulaye Faye (calf) and Stephen Carr (hamstring) are major doubts for the Arsenal game after picking up injuries in the 3-1 defeat to Blackburn, although Steven Taylor could return.