- Premier League
Pardew calls for Newcastle unity
A defiant Alan Pardew has insisted he is still the right man for Newcastle United.
Pardew has come in for heavy criticism of late following a poor patch of form in the Premier League. A draw at West Bromwich Albion was sandwiched in between defeats against Sunderland and Liverpool at St James' Park in which the Magpies conceded nine unanswered goals.
With fans streaming out of the stadium on Saturday, they have begun to vent their frustrations at what they perceive is a mess created by the manager. Meanwhile, press reports have suggested that Pardew has begun to lose the dressing room, with his contingent of French players, including stand-in captain Yohan Cabaye, questioning his tactical decisions.
Asked if he still believes he is the right man for the job, Pardew told the Evening Chronicle: "Yes. We've had a really, really poor month in terms of results. Now we have to stick together and get through it."
The Magpies travel to West Ham United on Saturday knowing that opportunities to add to their 37-points total are fast running out. With games against Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal to follow, Pardew has said the time for talking is now over, and that his side must go and pick up their first points since the April 7 win against Fulham.
"As I've said before, words don't win games," Pardew explained. "They're not important any more. The performance we put in was unacceptable. It wasn't good enough for us. We're aware of that, and we need to put it right. Even after Benfica, a few of the players perhaps thought after that game we'd be all right.
"But we've got one point from three league games, and that's not good enough for this football club. Now we're in a dogfight, and we've got to fight. We've got enough character and belief in that dressing room to get through it. We've got to show that now."
Their visit to Upton Park will at least be boosted by the return of Fabricio Coloccini. The 31-year-old has missed most of 2013 after sustaining a back injury during the 4-2 win against Southampton. Now fit and ready to return, the Magpies boss is hopeful the Argentine can restore leadership that has previously been lacking.
"I think Colo's important this week," Pardew said. "No disrespect to the two centre-halves who played against Liverpool. I think his leadership is important. Hopefully, he comes through this week, and we can get him out on the pitch with the armband on."