ALAN Pardew has conceded that he and his Newcastle United side have lost “credibility” in the eyes of supporters.
And the club’s under-fire manager knows he needs a win quickly.
Newcastle lost a club-record fifth successive Premier League game on Saturday when Swansea City came from behind to win 2-1 at St James’s Park thanks to two goals from Wilfried Bony.
The result intensified the pressure on Pardew (right) - whose ninth-placed side have been lodged in a rut for months - ahead of their Premier League visit to Arsenal on Monday next week.
Pardew has seen Tony Pulis and Tim Sherwood linked with his job over the last few days.
And the 52-year-old has admitted his team must show an improvement at the Emirates Stadium – and win the club’s final home game against Cardiff City on May 3.
“We’ve got a lot of hard work to do before the Arsenal game,” Pardew said.
“We definitely need to give a credible performance and hopefully get some points. Certainly, against Cardiff, we’ve got to win, whatever route it takes.
“Now we need to make sure we regroup this week. That was a body blow, really.”
If Newcastle don’t show any signs of life before the end of the season, club owner Mike Ashley - whose backing for Pardew has been staunch up to now - could decide a managerial change is needed.
For his part, Pardew admitted earlier this month that he didn’t feel “safe” in his job.
Pardew, however, will have to do without Papiss Cisse in the club’s remaining three games, with the striker having suffered a season-ending knee injury against Swansea.
It has been reported that Cisse suffered a broken kneecap, which could see him miss the start of pre-season training in July.
On-loan forward Luuk de Jong is also nursing an ankle problem, though he does now have leading scorer Loic Remy, another loanee, back fit.
Remy came off the bench to make his comeback from injury against Swansea.
Defender Mathieu Debuchy also returned after a six-game absence.
Ashley had demanded a finish of 10th or better from Pardew and the club’s players, and a bonus scheme will payout should the team remain in the top half of the table.
“It’s important that we win at least one of these last three games top secure that,” said Pardew, whose side could be caught by Stoke City and Crystal Palace.
“Obviously, there have been teams who are chasing us down, and that’s the last thing we wanted.”