Pardew: Match first, inquest later

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ALAN Pardew admits he faces some tough questions off the pitch at the end of the season, writes Miles Starforth.

But he knows his Newcastle United team must first find answers on the field at Upton Park.

Pardew’s side are one place above the Premier League’s relegation zone ahead of tomorrow’s game against West Ham United.

And two and a half years after taking charge at St James’s Park, Pardew’s job is on the line along with the club’s top-flight status.

Owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias will launch a “review” of a dreadful domestic season after the last ball has been kicked.

“We all know that come the end of the season there will be a review,” Pardew said.

“It’s stupid not to think that won’t be the case.

“We’ll all sit down – myself, Derek and Mike and the coaching staff – and decide what we did well and what we did wrong.”

Pardew has come under increasing fire from frustrated fans in the wake of last weekend’s 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool and the Tyne-Wear derby defeat.

And bookmakers have slashed the odds on him becoming the league’s next managerial casualty.

Last year’s Premier League Manager of the Season insists the criticism which is being aimed at him won’t distract him from the job at hand.

“There’s no point doing it (the inquest) now, there really isn’t,” he added. “Whatever’s being said now means nothing.

“What is important is that for three games now we’re strong and give the best account we can.

Newcastle are five points above third-from-bottom Wigan Athletic, who have a game in hand.

And the longer the club’s destiny remains in its own hands, the better.

“Our saving grace is that the destiny is in our own hands,” said Pardew, who will welcome back captain Fabricio Coloccini from injury at Upton Park.

“To some people it’s almost like we’re gone and we’re relegated.

“But we’re five points clear of Wigan, and we need to increase it by some margin.”

Wigan – who face Manchester City in the FA Cup final later this month – take on West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns tomorrow.