ALAN Pardew says he’s wounded by Newcastle United’s defeat to Sunderland – and the flak that’s come his way.
But the club’s embattled manager is adamant he – and his team – are ready to answer the questions that have been asked of them in the wake of the club’s heaviest derby defeat in 34 years.
Pardew – who has come under fire from fans this week – admits the result has hurt his pride.
“I am a proud man, a professional man,” Pardew said.
“I don’t want my team to get beat 3-0 by anybody, let alone our rivals from down the road. There are little things that I want to get right.”
Pardew – whose relegation-threatened side face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns this afternoon – says his inquest into the game will be kept in-house.
And he’s confident the hurt felt into the dressing room will spur his players on between now and the end of the Premier League season.
“I’ll protect my players,” he added. “That’s my job – to get the best out of them.
“We are all carrying our own frustrations about the way we played – that’s number one on the agenda – and some of the criticism as well, which we think has been out of place.
“Hopefully, we can carry that into the remaining games.”
Pardew wouldn’t elaborate on the criticism which he feels has been “heavy-handed”.
Meanwhile, he is confident the team has benefited from a full week’s training, with preparation time on the practice pitch having been at a premium in recent weeks given the demands of the Europa League.
Some players – among them stand-in captain Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko – have been rested, with the past few weeks having taken a toll on them.
“I didn’t bring them in and run them around the pitch, looking for a reaction,” said Pardew.
“What was the point in that? That would only show the frustration of us as coaches.
“We worked the others hard, but the guys who needed a rest got one. We’ve had two great days on the training ground. I’ve seen a lot more energy out there.”
However, Sylvain Marveaux, an influential player in recent weeks, won’t be invovled at The Hawthorns.