Alan Pardew has called on his Newcastle squad to “stick together” following another disastrous performance in front of the club’s own fans at St. James’ Park, reports Sky
The Toon Army lost 3-0 at home to bitter rivals Sunderland last weekend, but were hoping for a better performance when Liverpool arrived at St. James’ Park on Saturday only to be beaten 6-0.
Pardew has lamented the “awful” performance, but insists it is important that his players don’t lose focus as they continue their quest to secure Premier League survival.
The Magpies now sit five points above the relegation zone with three games to play, and so while safety still seems a fairly likely bet they can seldom afford to relax until Premier League football next season becomes a mathematical certainty.
Pardew said: “Well I’m worried, of course. You can’t come off a defeat like that and the manner it was without being worried. I’m not going to criticise my players, I’m not going to criticise the team in any shape or form on an individual basis.
“It was a collective effort and we fell down collectively.”
Pardew was then asked if he remained confident that he can get the club out of the current downward spiral, and he responded: “Yes, of course, and I think we have got enough in the dressing room to do that.
“We haven’t become a bad staff or a bad set of players overnight. But we definitely need to roll our sleeves up and make sure we make a really good fist of these last three games.”
The fans booed the players off the park at the final whistle, in a scene reminiscent of the same fixture in 2008 when Liverpool emerged 5-1 victors, a result which proved a precursor to the Geordies’ surprising relegation.
Pardew was asked about the fans’ reaction, and he said: “They have got every right to. That performance is just not good enough for Newcastle.
“We are all aware of that, not just myself and my staff but my team, and on Monday morning at 10.30am I expect to see all my team out there whether their foot is hanging off or whatever ready to train.
“Now we have got to show we have got the heart for this little scrap we are in because other teams certainly have.”
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