ALAN Pardew says the calls from Newcastle United’s fans for his sacking have “saddened” him.
But the Magpies’ under-fire manager says his “resolve” to see the job through is as strong as ever ahead of Sunday’s season-ending visit to Anfield.
Newcastle fans have loudly demanded Pardew’s dismissal in recent weeks, chanting against Pardew and club owner Mike Ashley during last weekend’s 3-0 home win over Cardiff City, which ended a club record run of six Premier League defeats.
Pardew’s future hinges on end-of-season talks with Ashley, who demanded a top-10 finish at the start of the campaign.
Ninth-top Newcastle have achieved that objective ahead of the season-finale against Liverpool, whose title challenge is all but over after their 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace on Monday. They trail Manchester City by two points with a game to go.
It remains to be seen whether Ashley – who handed Pardew a seven-year deal early last season – will be swayed by supporter opinion ahead of a summer of rebuilding at the club.
For his part, Pardew remains focused on the final game of the season.
“Obviously, I’m a little bit sad about the situation,” Pardew said. “But my resolve has to be strong to make sure the players are ready for Liverpool. We need to go to Anfield and put in a top performance.”
Fans are unhappy at a largely abject few months on the field dating back to Yohan Cabaye’s January sale to Paris Saint-Germain.
Newcastle have all too often played without confidence and cohesion, and Pardew’s tactics – which were criticised during last season’s relegation battle – have again come under scrutiny.
However, Pardew, looking for the Tynesiders to sign a number of “offensive” players in the summer’s transfer window, is adamant that he can take Newcastle forward. The 52-year-old believes Newcastle can renew their challenge for European football next season, having been in the top six in late December.
Speaking after the Cardiff game, he said: “We need to make sure that we start next season in the same position we started this season. We had a strong team and were challenging for Europe.
“But towards the back end of the season, we have not been that good.
“We need to accept that, accept the criticism and make the right calls.”