YOHAN Cabaye says the players must take responsibility for Newcastle United’s dip in form.
Manager Alan Pardew has come under renewed fire after back to back Premier League defeats.
But Cabaye, set to return to the starting line-up at Cardiff City tomorrow, feels the players, as a group, have to look at themselves in the wake of the team’s performances against Everton and Hull.
The midfielder came off the bench at Goodison Park on Monday night, with Newcastle trailing by three goals.
Cabaye scored a stunning goal six minutes into the second half, and Loic Remy got a second strike.
But the damage had been done before the break, and the odds on Pardew being the next top-flight manager to leave his post were cut in the wake of the defeat, which left the Magpies 16th in the table.
Cabaye – who apologised to fans for refusing to play in the first two league games in the wake of a rejected bid from Arsenal – insists Pardew retains the support of the squad.
“Of course – he is our manager,” Cabaye said. “In football, it is often the manager who gets the blame. He works hard all week, and we have our responsibilities. We have to think about that and play for everyone at the club.
“What we have been doing on the pitch is not enough.”
Cabaye – yesterday recalled to the France squad along with Remy for World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Finland – revealed: “Before Everton, I felt my hip flexor. The day before I wasn’t right, so I spoke with the manager and said I couldn’t start, but I wanted to be on the bench.”
However, Cabaye is now fully fit, and Pardew says that the 27-year-old is available to start at Cardiff, saying: “Yohan’s trained with us since the game with no problem,” he said. “I wouldn’t have an issue with him starting the game.”
Pardew says the result is NOT the be all and end all tomorrow.
Newcastle were dreadful in the first half in Monday’s 3-2 loss at Goodison Park, and the manager said: “I would like a performance.
“If you said to me we play rubbish and win, would I take that? Probably not. I want us to play well and win.
“Usually, the result carries across from the performance. It’s important that we play with intensity.
“I think all our fans will be looking for a performance. It needs to be much more relevant to the club that we are. The first half (at Everton) wasn’t a performance that Newcastle can be proud of.”
Newly-promoted Cardiff won 2-1 at Fulham last week, and Pardew is wary of Malky Mackay’s side, who comfortably beat Newcastle 4-1 last pre-season.
“They will have their tails up,” he said. “They have an away win under their belts as well as the result at home (against Manchester City).
“This is a tough place to go at the moment. We have to make sure we match that. If put the negatives in their mind, like score a goal or put them on the back foot, we can change the whole psychology of the game.”
Centre-back Mike Williamson is set for his first Premier League start of the season tomorrow, at the expense of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Boss Pardew said: “Williamson’s conducted himself well on the training ground, and when the opportunity came against Leeds (in the Capital One Cup last week), he did well. Then when he had the chance on Monday night (replacing Yanga-Mbiwa at half-time at Everton) he took it. I have to repay that, in my view.”
Cardiff striker Craig Bellamy is hoping for a recall against former club Newcastle after being replaced by Peter Odemwingie last week.
“Craig is a massive part of everything we are doing here – he’s one of my main men,” said Mackay. “He’s one of the main leaders.”