Stoke City (a) Premier League
possessing thoughts only of crossing for one of his striking colleagues, Erik
Pieters lofted over a centre from the left wing that dropped over the head of
his former junior international colleague Tim Krul and into the net via the far
Pardew's newspaper press conference as reported by the Chronicle:
AP: "Heh, yeah. It was a bit of a fluke
goal and the wind I thought caught hold of it which made it almost impossible
for Tim to save.
National journalist: You thought it was a
National journalist: The fans seem to be turning against you Alan is it something you noticed from where you were sitting?
AP: "Well of course four defeats as
Newcastle manager...we have 10 senior players missing."
"It is a difficult hold to try to fill at the moment - their frustration has boiled over a little bit. We need to settle it down, the way to settle it down is to get a win. Unfortunately it hasn’t come today."
Lee Ryder: Do you think you will be able to win the fans back round?
Lee Marshall, club’s PR manager: “We won’t take questions from you today I’m afraid.”
National journalist: Alan, how will you win the fans back round, do you think you can do that?
AP: "The only thing you can do is try and get a performance on the pitch which gives us a chance of winning. I thought it was close today - I thought we had good character in the group.
“I thought it was an honest performance but we lack creative flair and we lack a little bit of ability in and around the box. Loic’s return, which I think will happen next week, will be important to us.”
National journalist: In a way are you the victim of what you did in the first half of the season?
AP: "Possibly. In terms of the Cabaye and Loic losses, it has made it difficult for us to create and dictate games prior to them both being in the team, but I can’t fault the players today - they gave the maximum as they could.”
Pardew: “Thank you.”
(Leaves rooms after 129 seconds)
SCFC tea lady: “What was all that about?”
Other AP post-match quotes reported by Sky etc:
"I'd like to see a win or two that will secure our position and
secure our confidence going into the summer.
We've got a good opportunity in the summer to bring players in, but we need to
get ourselves a couple of wins just to steady everyone down.
“I actually don’t think the media in the north-east helped us this week. I think they whipped it up, for whatever reason. I know one or two of them are banned from the stadium and they probably used that as a bit of an agenda, which is a shame for us because we want them to support us.
"There’s not much to add to it really, if you lose in the manner that we’ve lost, but also to the quality of the opposition.
“We’ve had four really tough games and unfortunately they’ve all resulted in defeats but no goals, and I think that’s a tough spell to have as a Newcastle manager.
"So the frustration I understand, but I can only do the best job I
can with the group I have, and I’m obviously trying to do that.
"In terms of the Cabaye loss and Loic on top of that, it has made it difficult for us to create and dictate like we did prior to both of them being in the team. I can’t fault them.”
"It's fair to say he came with a little
bit of baggage, but we were probably exactly what he needed to get out of the
environment he found himself in. German football, maybe because of a few
episodes there, hadn't taken too kindly to him.
"It's not easy to come in and have an impact, certainly as a creative player. It's easier for defensive-minded players. When you are a creative player the onus is on you to win games and that's more difficult, but once he's got to grips with it, the second half of the season has been good for the team and good for him. In terms of his ability to cross on the run, he's one of the best I've seen.
"We haven't done anything yet - people were trying to pat us on the back for getting to 40 points, but that was never the aim. There's four games to go and who knows where we will get to?
"Newcastle are in our sights now and I would suggest our momentum is better than theirs, so who knows, we might catch them?"
"We had the vast majority of chances,
any of them could have been converted. Newcastle put good balls into good areas,
but defensively we were nice and sound and any pressure we came under we dealt
Saturday saw the Britannia Stadium host Newcastle's latest attempt at posting
a performance competent and committed enough to "repay" their fans.
And like other recent attempts at atonement, they failed completely.
Situated adjacent to the players tunnel, Toon fans made their discontent with
the poor first half display apparent, accompanying criticism of the manager ("everybody's
right, Pardew's shite") waving bed sheets on which a variety of
messages were scrawled: "no more lies or excuses Pardew out", "Pardew
is a muppet" and the unequivocal "Pardew Out".
(*our original match report went on to note that "the lack of any Newcastle substitutes warming up from that point was significant" - thanks for those who have correctly pointed out that we had by then used all three permitted replacements, Steven Taylor having previously been forced off).
Anita had the chance to head in at the far post but the smallest player on the field couldn't direct his header downward and the ball cleared the bar.
Williamson stayed forward and had another shot blocked and Yanga-Mbiwa sliced horribly wide as our final efforts to salvage a point came and went and four minutes of added time ebbed away in typical aimless fashion.
By then though a more concerted and united away support had turned their fire on the manager, "Pardew Out" shouts increasing in volume and boos and catcalls greeting the away bench occupants and players as they retreated to the sanctuary of the dressing room.
Pardew sought later to blame the local media for inciting those supporters into that negative response, a situation that whether true or not is of course entirely due to the club banning said titles. That gives them free rein to slag them off, rather than throw a lifebelt to the beleaguered manager in the form of supportive press coverage.
The Sunday Sun responded with this back page
Remaining in ninth spot with only a three point cushion above Stoke, even achieving our "incentivised" tenth place finish is now less certain, West Ham sitting nine points behind us with a game in hand.
The need for a positive home display - and result - next Saturday is now imperative to try and prevent this rift from becoming a chasm. Like our other home opponents Cardiff though, Swansea will travel to Tyneside in dire need of points and knowing that they are there for the taking by the simple expedient of finding the net first.
And for all the understandable bluster about the wheels coming off the Gus Bus, the reality of the situation is that we're no better and on course to suffer a similar fate in twelve months without drastic surgery to this team.
In terms of tactics and motivation though, the mood of the support is hardening against the manager - and his players look to be offering a similar no confidence vote, both on the field and in the treatment room.
While dumping Pardew would be a short-term remedy, the constraints any manager here has to work under would mean that like Hughton, his replacement would be of a similar level, with similar underwhelming and limiting aspirations imposed on his shoulders.
That continues to be the greater issue.
Dedicated to Graham Helling aka "Big Issue" from all your pals. RIP.