Hull City (h) Premier League
Half time: Magpies
0 Tigers 0
Full time: Magpies 2 Tigers 2
"It was very difficult when the ball kept coming to me and they were jeering me, but other than that, I managed to do that.
"I have to say thank you to them for that because big sections of our fans more or less took a neutral position today.
"I donít expect them to have been supporting me or in any way wanting to cheer for me personally, but I think they just took a view of loving their football club and just seeing what happened today, and I think we did enough on the pitch to win a few friends today.
"I think our fans are realistic Ė they know the top six is beyond us. We canít compete with those clubs at the moment.
"But we should be competing for seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, we have proven that we can do that in the past.
"We are well short of it at the moment and I am not going to jump up and down here for a 2-2 draw at home to Hull, but itís a stepping stone to that area where this club needs to be.
"I have to say 80 percent of the crowd today were terrific for me. They took a view of 'let's see what happens' and that's how fair they can be.
"We do have some fans who are a
little bit more radical than that, and they wanted to make their noise and
presence felt, and you have to accept that as a manager.
"Weíve had to climb a mountain. The players were magnificent for me, I have to thank them. It just goes to show, with Papiss Cisseís celebration, football can bring you together.
"Iím conscious of not making excuses because Iíve been accused of making excuses - I just want to do defend the team - but we were really good at times today and hopefully the fans can digest that.
"Ironically, one or two people clapped me as I walked out! and I thanked those couple of fans Ė it was only two.
"We need to win every game that we can at the moment to release some pressure. I want to thank the players because I wouldnít have liked to have played in that game.
"Football is a horrible game at times - I thought we deserved to actually be leading the game at the time. Jack Colback should have cleared it, and a great hit from Jelavic and we are 1-0 down.
"But I have talked to the players this week about the Southampton game, and the biggest disappointment from the Southampton game was our reaction to goals, the fact that we looked like we lost our spirit - you get that from time to time in a season.
"But it was really bad timing for us after not winning a game and it was important that our senior players stood up today.
"Cheick Tiote and Colo in particular, I thought, really drove us on
at 2-0 down and they were big, big key players in that turn-around.
"My medical staff didnít agree that he should be included today Ė I think he has trained five days. But when you are experienced Ė myself and John (Carver) looked at each other on Thursday, I think it was, and your eye tells you sometimes that the player is fresh, heís bright.
"Of course heís not ready for 90 minutes, but he knows how to carry the jersey. Thatís why I feel some sympathy today for Manu Riviere, because Riviere has had to carry the shirt and heís not ready to carry that shirt yet full-time.
"Itís a shirt that is heavy, that number nine shirt and I think he has seen an example from Papiss to take that chance, to make that little movement in the box.
"Manu will learn from that, and it gives me the opportunity with Papiss coming back to fitness to rest Manu and for him to understand what it is to play at a big club like this.
"Heís only 24, Riviere, and really and truly, we have had too much responsibility on him.
"Sometimes in desperate situations, which Jonasí Gutierrez illness is, in a way for a professional footballer, it can bond you together.
"We all felt for Jonas this week announcing it Ė me and Colo obviously have known for a long time, and it was great that Papiss honoured that.
"Itís something that in a strange way can bring players together.
"I felt that for all the reporting we had to put up with this week, and in the week before the Southampton game, some of it was really, really unfair and I said to the players, ĎYou canít moan about it because we have brought it on ourselves, We set ourselves up at Southampton for this sort of criticism and you are going to have to learn to take it.
"Now, there are two things: you either canít handle it Ė then
donít play for this football club; or you handle it, and I think they proved
that today in very, very difficult circumstances.
"The players came through that today. They came through all the criticism of how bad they were at Southampton plus the negativity of today, and that will stand them in good stead to be Newcastle players."
On criticism from BBC pundit Robbie Savage (who called him a 'broken
"There's nothing I can do about that. I can't affect things I can't affect. The only thing I can really affect this Saturday is the team, my manner, my bench's manner and everything else that we do in terms of our conduct in that game.
"Am I the best person to sort it out? I think so, but I don't think our fans agree with that! They (Chronicle) did a poll today - 98 per cent didn't want me, so I am up a few per cent.
"There's nothing I can do to stop them protesting and I don't intend to, but all I do hope is that they give the team the chance to win the game and that the protest comes quickly and goes as quickly and hopefully we take the lead and we can see the game out.
"I think the worst scenario would be still protesting when we're winning - that would be unwelcome and puts the win in jeopardy.
"I think I'm kind of resolved to how the stadium is going to be and I think I've prepared the players for that, I'm hoping that myself and the team can handle it.
"People take this as an arrogance or some sort of ego trip or something - it's nothing of the kind. It's trying to be professional with my job.
"I've signed a contract here to be the manager for a long time and there were scenarios when it was good for me and now at this time it isn't.
"I need to make sure that I'm the same standards. Now the standards on the football pitch at the moment are not the levels that I've had at this football club and not the level we had at the start of this season.
"We need to banish that performance at Southampton and get it out of the memory as quick as we can.
"It's not been an easy week because after the events of Southampton, as manager you have to reflect and the performance really upset me going back to my old team.
"It wasn't a performance I was proud of in any shape or form.
"We spoke to the group about it we have some new players and I'm not going to offer any excuses. We need to make sure that if we go behind in games we have to show a better spirit as a group than we did in that game.
"But you know, in the season you get games when it gets away from you completely. It happened to some top teams last year - Arsenal had two or three times they got well beat - five and six - it happens in a Premiership season when it just doesn't work.
"It's bad timing for us because obviously the start we've had - we didn't get the win that we needed before then and so it's put added pressure on us, particularly myself - I'm fully aware of that.
"I've spoken to Mike (Ashley) we had a long conversation on Sunday and obviously he was disappointed in the performance as he has a right to as the owner, and he reflected that to me.
"The one thing that we both agreed on was that we really needed to focus on this Saturday and try and get a win for the football club.
"I think that's very important that certain issues, particularly the issue regarding me somewhat take a bit of a back seat in terms of the team because it's going to be a difficult environment if we have the atmosphere we had at Southampton for long periods.
"It never really come up if I'm honest and if that sounds like I'm sort of trying to fudge the issue, then I'm not.
"We talked about the team, we talked about a couple of things that were a problem and also about the performance and of course he was upset about the performance and really we focused on that.
"I never asked for any assurance - all I do know is that I've signed a long contract here for good and bad. We've had some great times that seem to have been forgotten recently.
"We've had some tough days as well and this will be one of our toughest. I can think of some tough games that I've had as manager here but the environment for the players on Saturday will probably be as tough as it's ever been.
"We have to accept and we have know that Hull are going to come and make good use of our situation and make it difficult for us.
"I think you're fighting for your job in terms of the record on the back end of last year and the record we've got at the start of this year but we've got a different squad this year and one of two - like all players in the Premiership - are finding the adjustment tough.
"Some can take straight to it, I remember when we bought Cabaye that year we brought him in and three or four others with him and we just hit the ground running.
"Everyone's surprised that happened and it is a surprise I think, because the more knowledgeable you get about players coming and adjusting to the Premiership it takes time and I think one or two of our players particularly without the win have found that a little bit tough.
"But we have all that, all them excuses and everything else this Saturday and get this magnificent football club - because that's what it is - a win.
On Jonas Gutierrez:
"We send our love to Jonas and the messages of support we have had are fantastic. I really hope he comes back sooner than later.Ē
Steve Bruce said:
"We've scored two wonderful goals which would have graced any arena. Apart from the mistakes we made late on, we looked a very good team. Individual errors are something you can never determine. Is it complacency? Tiredness? A mistake is a mistake and we've got punished.
"I have to say the Newcastle fans were magnificent and got behind their team. The crowd played their part in getting Newcastle back in the game. I don't think there will be any complaints about the crowd, they were magnificent today.
"When you are two goals
up, you should be able to see it through, but we just didn't do it.
Their seasonal winless league run may not have been
broken, but United concluded their fifth game without a win with that rarest of
sights - a striker playing up front.
And Cisse earned a second opportunity to show off his tribute T-shirt to testicular cancer sufferer Jonas Gutierrez, when netting from close in late on, to capture what could yet to be a priceless point.
The influence of our number 18 in this match was significant and provided his manager with a genuine boost even though he's remains in Argentina.
The first chant that from the Strawberry Corner was of the "Spiderman" variety rather than against Pardew, while the teams' appearance in Jonas -themed training tops added an air of positivity- proof if nowt else that players do care about something, in the wake of the Saints surrender.
In addition to "doing it for Jonas", the threatened protests aimed at unseating Pardew and the livelier atmosphere in the ground looked to have had a galvanising effect on his players, who made and missed a trio of goalscoring opportunities in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
After Gouffran and Cabella broke for Riviere to head wide and Cabella failed to get any power into his effort, Jack Colback looked to be perfectly placed to notch a first United goal - only for 'keeper Allan McGregor to block.
That comparatively bright opening had undermined the attempt to focus abuse on the manager on five minutes, with louder applause commemorating the MH17 victims, continuing with an 18th minute tribute to Gutierrez and then concluding with Hull's own 19th minute protest.
As has become the norm though, United began to lose momentum and the pace of their game dropped to an alarming level, as energy and ideas visibly ebbed away.
It's important to state though that this was in no way accountable to any external pressure on the team, who enjoyed good vocal support in the opening stages that gradually levelled off but didn't give way to abuse (the booing that accompanied Alan Pardew's first venture to his technical area soon receded and he stayed there).
The second half was barely three minutes old though when the manager's cause took a big blow, Colback surrendering possession before Nikica Jelavic brutally volleying a right wing cross past a helpless Tim Krul.
Aside for some isolated shouts directed at manager and owner in the following minutes though, the fans stayed with the team, and encouraged them forward.
Sadly though, the next goal of the game came from Hull and looked to be pivotal, not only to the destination of the points but also the future direction of this club - Steve Bruce and his staff cavorting on the touchline as Mike Ashley sat, head bowed in the Directors Box above.
The poisonous atmosphere that had been predicted by many began to ramp up at
that point, Cisse ready to make his entrance when
Mohamed Diame worked an opening to smash home from
distance via a post.
"I have been saying all week that we must handle the occasion but from the off, we didn't and we got blown away by a far superior team on the day."
Yet more Pardew ramblings post-Southampton? Wrong.
Those are the thoughts of one Steve Bruce, following a 1-5 defeat for his mackem side here in October 2010.
That's the same Steve Bruce who returns to SJP on Saturday, boosted in his quest to secure points for Hull City by the threat of protests. Regardless of whatever in-house disputes we have though, he must be stopped and sent away empty-handed once more.
The Tigers will come in good heart and look to make a positive start, taking advantage of what was incorrectly termed "mass hysteria" by Pardew - yet another example of him misreading a situation.
Just as the protests back in May weren't unanimous, then the anti-Pardew abuse at Southampton wasn't coming from everyone present - and we don't mean Carver.
Some travelling fans chose to leave in disgust at the performance and/or the abuse, while initial attempts at unfurling the banner that ended up on the front row resulted in supporters confronting one another.
Moving on to Saturday and regardless of their opinion of the manager, not everyone attending will be waving a Sack Pardew placard. For those who choose not to vote with their feet and boycott though, this is the only opportunity to protest and try and effect change.
One by-product of the Ashley era is that some supporters of long standing have dropped out - altering the mix of the crowd and removing elements of our core support with a consequent negative effect on the atmosphere.
So if nothing else, the prospect of SJP being occupied by motivated and vocal home supporters should be taken as a positive and used effectively in that manner.
Toxic though the atmosphere was against Cardiff, among the vocal protests lay the strongest backing to the team for many months - a far cry from deathly silences when the likes of Spurs, Everton and Swansea came, saw and conquered without a whimper on or off the field.
And although Cardiff contributed vastly to their own downfall that day, the record books will show that our 3-0 win is the largest margin of victory at SJP in 2014.
Of course, actually having something to support would help immeasurably, something that the players must bear great responsibility for. Perhaps some of the bile destined for Pardew could be redirected at coasters like Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran and Cheick "Lazarus" Tiote....
Any debate triggered has to be about the direction of the club, even more so than what we consider to be a wholly justified mass vote of no confidence in the manager.
Without a change in the structure, his replacement - whether next week or next year- will be of similar standing to both Hughton and Pardew, compromised and emasculated from day one...and doomed to failure.
Regardless of that though, we're at such a low ebb that any boost to the dressing room gained by hoofing Pardew out NOW would be eagerly taken. If it did turn out to be Fabricio Coloccini though, that might further divide the protest movement....
Our own reading is that the owner has no intention of making a managerial change until midway through the season. We believe he's mistaken and that not acting now betrays a lack of knowledge, both personally and from those he surrounds himself with. It's too late.
Regardless of the protests though, Ashley doesn't care as long as he's got your money and those TV cameras focus on his SJP placards in the Premier League. A far more telling protest would be to take advantage of the brief season ticket deal opt out window next January.
Alan Pardew has two roles - first team coach and club mouthpiece - and has been thoroughly unconvincing in both roles throughout 2014.
Some faces have changed, but the downbeat aspect of the team and their lack of spirit remains, as do his excuses - like many, we're at the stage where we take most of his public utterances as a personal affront.
Back to Saturday and regardless of the managerial issue, what remains is the task of trying to earn three vital points against a team who are our rivals (notwithstanding the fact that we've loaned them an asset that may well help them win points in other games to finish above us).
Setting fan against fan won't help anyone's cause, while interruptions to the game would only give our numerous critics - and the footballing authorities - ammunition.
Protest and support, or support. The choice remains yours, but don't be guilty of doing neither.
As an aside, some readers have questioned why we linked to the protest website - our response is public interest.
It's the same mindset that saw us publicise the fan march that got NCJ banned and within days also provide details for anyone interested in joining the club's fan forum. We received identical criticism from radically opposed fans - which usually reassures us that we're on the right lines...
In all cases, the opportunity is given to see what is suggested and make a personal decision whether to support it, work against it, or modify your behaviour accordingly if desired.
Alternatively, just ignore it and do nothing, it's your call and we remain nothing more than a website. Plans to found our own religion remain resolutely on hold.
PS: We don't have a monopoly on discontent, with a Hull City fan
protest group issuing a statement on Friday urging their own supporters not to
abuse one another. that follows booing between different sections of
the home support at one point during last Monday's game against West Ham.