Newcastle facing relegation fight, admits Pardew

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes his side are in amongst the fight to avoid relegation from the Premier League, the Daily Mirror has reported.

The Mirror adds that the Magpies have the same number of points from the same number of games so far this season – 14 from 14 – as they did in the year they were relegated, 2009-10, and have made their second-worst start to a season in a decade. Newcastle are 14th in the table, two points clear of Southampton, who occupy the final place in the relegation zone.

Newcastle lost 2-1 to Stoke City in midweek, having led for part of the match only to concede two late goals. Their next opponents are Wigan Athletic, on Monday, in a fixture that pits Newcastle against the side that are currently directly below them in the rankings.

Pardew earlier this season signed an eight year contract with the Tyneside club, as the club’s hierarchy sought to give the ultimate long-term backing to the manager who guided Newcastle to fifth last season.

But Pardew denied it was too early to say Newcastle were in a relegation battle. He added: “ We can’t bury our head in the sand, and we have to get wins to get out of it. Actually, I’m so buoyed by the performance [at Stoke], and by the fact that the things we have changed, the things we’ve done, have definitely helped the team. The team have responded to them. Hopefully, we can take that forward.

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