Premier League: Alan Pardew says criticism won't affect Newcastle run-in
Under-fire Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew insists he will not let recent criticism affect his side's run-in.
By Daniel Walters
Last Updated: 12/04/14 2:26pm
The 52-year-old has found himself the subject of heavy disapproval in the wake three heavy defeats by Everton, Southampton and Manchester United, seeing his side concede 11 goals without reply in the process.
As a result, Newcastle lie just above the bottom half of the Premier League table, despite aspirations of breaking into the Champions League qualification places at the turn of the year.
Owner Mike Ashley has set Pardew a minimum requirement of a top-half finish, and their current ninth-place position must be consolidated by an upturn in form in the coming weeks.
Pardew has borne the brunt of the most recent criticism and as he prepares his team for Saturday's tricky match away at Stoke, he has no qualms about having to do so.
He said: "I accept the criticism that's coming my way, of course, but that doesn't weaken me in any manner. I am a person who looks to the next game - I am desperate to get the fans a result and they need to know that I understand their feelings at the minute."
The backlash reached a crescendo last weekend when a Magpies team missing goalkeeper Tim Krul, full-back Mathieu Debuchy, midfielder Moussa Sissoko and striker Loic Remy through injury was beaten convincingly 4-0 at home by a much-changed Manchester United side.
Newcastle head into the Stoke match two points adrift of Southampton in eighth and six better off than the Potters. However, their form has diminished alarmingly since they last met Mark Hughes' men on December 26, when they ran out 5-1 winners, and harnessed hopes of a shock top-four finish.
Of their 15 subsequent games, they have picked up only four victories.
Pardew said: "Pressure on any squad has to be channelled in the right way and we have got to channel that pressure that's on us into a performance. I am very confident that these players can deal with that pressure."
The season has typified Pardew's rollercoaster reign to date on Tyneside. He guided the club to a fifth place finish in 2011-12, only to flirt with relegation 12 months later.
He reflected: "It's been a strange sort of season. I had a great season for the first half and the second one, not so good. But it's difficult. I have not really experienced this before in my managerial career, so it's been difficult and injuries have compounded that."
In the longer term, Pardew will embark on a summer spending spree to halt his side's decline, with extensive rebuilding expected. He believes this will be enhanced by the appointment of former football secretary Lee Charnley as managing director earlier this week.
Pardew revealed: "I have a good relationship with him (Charnley), (chief scout) Graham Carr has a good relationship with him. We have got a good group of scouts and information to make sure that the recruitment side is really a good job in the summer."