ALAN Pardew has told his Newcastle United players it’s time to “stand up and deliver” against Hull City, writes MILES STARFORTH.
There will be more protests against embattled Pardew at St James’s Park on Saturday.
Newcastle’s 2,500 fans at the St Mary’s Stadium last weekend chanted for his dismissal during the Magpies’ 4-0 Premier League defeat to Southampton.
But Pardew, for now, still has the backing of club owner Mike Ashley.
The 53-year-old claimed after the Saints game that the hostility aimed at him had affected his winless team, which has been found wanting at both ends of the pitch this term.
However, the decibel levels will be louder at St James’s Park, with few fans now believing Pardew is part of the solution to the Tynesiders’ on-pitch problems.
For his part, Pardew admits the pressure is on him and his new-look team.
“It’s a time to stand up and deliver, really,” said Pardew. “Saturday is an important game for us, because now we’ve had a difficult start.
“If we had got something (last Saturday) – even a point – it would have been an OK start, because we’ve had some tough games, I think, to start with.
“Now we’ve got a game at home where the pressure’s really going to be on us, and we’re going to have to deliver.”
Pardew – set to recall fit-again midfielder Cheick Tiote to the starting XI – has implored his players to stick together.
And Newcastle’s supporters will see how they respond, knowing their manager – the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next to leave his post – is seemingly on borrowed time.
Pardew’s side, which has failed to score in three of its four league defeats, looks short of goals. But the manager has few options up front after the failure to sign an experienced striker to replace former loanee Loic Remy in the summer.
He is without the injured Siem de Jong as well as Rolando Aarons and Adam Campbell, while striker Papiss Cisse is at least a week away from his comeback.
Newcastle’s frailties at the back also need addressing, with the team having conceded seven goals in the last two matches.
Pardew could make a defensive change for the Hull game, and will need a significant improvement from captain Fabricio Coloccini, who was a shadow of his former self at St Mary’s.
Pardew – who refused to speak to the written Press after the Southampton defeat – will also speak to the media today after overseeing the morning’s training session.
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