ALAN Pardew has told his Newcastle United players that they must win at all costs against Sunderland – and wipe out the memory of their derby failures.
Pardew’s side were beaten 4-0 by Tottenham Hotspur in last night’s Capital One Cup quarter-final.
The Tynesiders were loudly backed by 4,200 fans at White Hart Lane, though many didn’t get into the ground for the kick-off because of huge queues at the turnstiles.
Many of them had been at the Emirates Stadium four days earlier to see the Magpies beaten 4-1 by Arsenal.
And Newcastle manager Pardew – whose has presided over three successive derby defeats – told his players that they owe the fans ahead of Sunday’s game against Sunderland at St James’s Park.
“I said to the players afterwards that at one point I was just absorbing what the fans were doing,” said Pardew.
“They were with us all game. I purposely went at the end to thank them. Their support was magnificent.
“They all travelled to Arsenal, and saw us well beaten.
“They’ve travelled again and seen us well beaten.
“And we really need to do our best to put a couple of difficult results behind us this season, and in the last three games against Sunderland.
“That was my sole message to prepare ourselves for Sunday.
“We have to make sure our fans go home with a performance that gives them a win.
“This fixture isn’t about our performance level, which was OK (against Tottenham). That isn’t going to be enough, we need to win.”
Newcastle made a positive start at White Hart Lane, but Nabil Bentaleb seized on an error from 21-year-old goalkeeper Jak Alnwick to put Tottenham into an 18th-minute lead.
Christian Eriksen delivered a corner from the right which was spilled by an off-balance Alnwick, and Bentaleb swept the loose ball home at the far post.
It was 2-0 33 seconds after half-time, with a shot from an unchallenged Nacer Chadli raking a slight deflection on its way past Alnwick.
Had it not been for an on-the-line clearance from Massadio Haidara – he blocked a header from Jan Vertonghen – the game would have been effectively over.
But it was all over in the 63rd minute when Harry Kane got goal side of Mike Williamson – who endured another torrid 90 minutes – in the box and beat Alnwick.
Sub Roberto Soldado added extra gloss, slotting home from close range after Eriksen’s initial effort was saved.
Cup redemption, it seems, is still a long, long way off for Pardew.
This was just embarrassing.
And long before the final whistle put Pardew’s players out of their misery, the club’s 4,200 fans were singing “I want to go home”.
Many had been at the Emirates Stadium four days earlier, when Newcastle were beaten 4-1 by Arsenal.
This was worse, much worse.
Now the club’s supporters can only hope their team can somehow pull itself together for the visit of Gus Poyet’s side to St James’s Park.
A fourth successive defeat to Sunderland is unthinkable for Newcastle – and especially Pardew.
Pardew, again under pressure, needs a win – however it comes.
But if his team plays anything like this against Sunderland, they will lose.
Reflecting on last night, Pardew said: “If ever the cliche of goals changing games is right, this was it.
“I thought the game was pretty even, and Jak makes the mistake on the cross.
“You can get away with that sometimes, but it goes in and that summed up our night really. We had some big chances we didn’t take.
“I said at half-time it would explode into a cup tie if we scored.
“We had an opportunity when Remy (Cabella) perhaps should have scored.
“There were three or four key moments in the game that didn’t fall for us. It happens at this level. Having said that, in tight technical areas Tottenham were better than us.”
TOTTENHAM: Vorm, Chiriches, Vertonghen, Fazio, Rose, Stambouli, Bentaleb (Capoue 80), Townsend, Eriksen, Chadli (Dembele 61), Kane (Soldado 69). Subs not used: Lloris, Kaboul, Lamela, Naughton. Goals: Bentaleb 18, Chadli 46, Kane 65, Soldado 70
NEWCASTLE: Alnwick, Coloccini, Williamson, Haidara, Dummett, Colback, Cabella (Vuckic 80), Gouffran, Perez , Sissoko (Anita 73), Riviere (Armstrong 60). Subs not used: Streete, Satka, Woodman, Roberts. Booked: Haidara.
Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).