ALAN Pardew admits that Newcastle United’s Tyne-Wear derby defeat will be a “scar” on the season – whatever happens between now and May, writes MILES STARFORTH.
Pardew’s side lost against Sunderland for the third consecutive time on Saturday, and Newcastle were awful.
The Tynesiders, eight points behind fifth-placed Everton in the Premier League, could yet challenge for a Europa League place, but two derby defeats this season have left an indelible stain on the Magpies’ campaign.
“Obviously, in terms of the league position, we’re OK,” said Pardew, whose side visit Chelsea on Saturday.
“But it’s a blow that’s hard to take up here.
“Football, and this particular fixture, means so much to them, and it will scar the season for us, as this defeat always does whether it is for Sunderland or for us.
“But the only thing I can do is prepare the team as best I can for next Saturday, and that’s what I will do.”
It had been claimed that some of the Newcastle players didn’t appreciate the significance of the fixture, a suggestion refuted by Pardew.
“I don’t think that was the case,” said Pardew. “If anything, it was the other way. We were too edgy, too hyped up.
“We made mistakes trying to win possession when it wasn’t on, but it was in possession that we had big problems, like taking care with a pass.
“Our crossing was as bad as I can remember it.
“That can only come from pressure. In a training session, that wouldn’t happen.”