Pressure grows on Newcastle United boss after sorry show

UNDER FIRE ... Alan Pardew.
UNDER FIRE ... Alan Pardew.
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ALAN Pardew was today clinging to his job at Newcastle United – amid a growing clamour for his dismissal.

Pardew’s side lost 4-0 to Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

The Magpies’ 2,500 travelling fans chanted for his dismissal in front of watching owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.

However, as it stands, Pardew will remain in charge of the club, despite a dismal run this year which has seen Newcastle lose 15 of their 23 Premier League matches.

Pardew’s winless side is bottom of the league with four games played so far this season.

The 53-year-old said after the Southampton game: “I haven’t asked for any assurances about my job, and I haven’t been given any.”

However, it appears to be a case of business as usual at St James’s Park ahead of this Saturday’s home game against Hull City, when Pardew will face more hostility from supporters.

Pardew claimed after the Southampton match that the mood among fans had unsettled his team, which went behind in the sixth minute.

“The performance from the start put us on the back foot, and our fans were on us from the start – or me in particular – and I don’t think that helped the situation,” he said.

Pardew chose not to call his players in for a warm-down session yesterday.

Instead, the squad reconvened at the club’s Benton training ground today to start preparations for the Hull game.

Pardew and his coaching staff are two years into the eight-year contracts they signed on the back of the club’s fifth-placed league finish in 2011-12.

Newcastle declined to comment on Pardew’s situation.

However, a newspaper was last week banned for suggesting that Pardew had two games to save his job.

Pardew chose not to speak to the written Press after the game.

Hull manager Steve Bruce yesterday distanced himself from the job after it was reported that he was being lined up to replace Pardew.

“I find it very disrespectful that I’m linked with somebody else’s job when he’s still in the job,” Wallsend-born Bruce said. “I’m just concentrating on our game against West Ham.

“I’m like any other manager. When I see another manager under huge pressure like Alan is – and it was only a few years ago I was in the same sort of situation – it isn’t nice. After what happened to me at Sunderland, I know how difficult the North East is.

“I have only been at Hull a couple of years, and they have been really good.

“They gave me the chance to get up and running again, and for that I will always be grateful.”

The Magpies might have been behind after just 23 seconds. Attempting to clear a poor Fabricio Coloccini backpass, Tim Krul’s clearance struck Shane Long but, fortunately for the Newcastle goalkeeper, it went wide.

It was a warning shot the visitors failed to heed as, after some last-ditch challenges and a strong penalty appeal from Long, Saints opened the scoring after six minutes.

Meeting a Ryan Bertrand cross from the left, Graziano Pelle impressively powered a header into the top-left hand corner.

Pelle’s second came in the 19th minute, though, courtesy of his own miscued strike. The 29-year-old attempted to volley a Mike Williamson clearance but it went so wide it landed at the feet of Dusan Tadic, who ignored offside appeals to square the ball for the frontman to tap home.

The third came when Jack Cork nipped in past a dozing Williamson to round Krul and slot home.

The icing on the cake for Southampton came when Morgan Schneiderlin fired in a wonderful, curling effort in stoppage time.

Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Steven Davis, Schneiderlin, Cork, Long (Wanyama 46), Pelle, Tadic (Ward-Prowse 67). Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Yoshida, Gardos, Mayuka, McQueen. Goals: Pelle 6, 19, Cork 54, Schneiderlin 90.

Newcastle: Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara, Anita (Tiote 46), Colback, Cabella (Perez 69), Sissoko (Ameobi 90), Gouffran, Riviere. Subs not used: Elliot, Obertan, S Taylor, Armstrong. Booked: Colback, Tiote.

Att: 29,678. Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

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