Belfast Telegraph

Pardew in "mass hysteria" battle

Beleaguered Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admits he will have to combat "mass hysteria" as he attempts to fight off a fans' revolt on Tyneside.

The 53-year-old is preparing for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Hull at St James' Park against the background of a terrace rebellion with his critics having grown significantly in both number and volume following a disappointing end to the summer transfer window and a poor start to the season.

Talk of organised protests has been rife after a series of banners calling for the manager's head were unfurled during last weekend's 4-0 humiliation at Southampton, and he knows he will walk into a bearpit as the Tigers arrive on Tyneside.

Pardew said: "This situation at the moment is almost like mass hysteria, to a degree. It's really gone to a level which makes it really difficult for players to perform in. I am hoping we can turn that around.

"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."

Many commentators assumed Pardew's reign, which is in its fourth year, would come to an end in the immediate aftermath of a dreadful display at the St Mary's Stadium which was witnessed in person by controversial owner Mike Ashley.

However, having sat down with the sportswear magnate to discuss the debacle, he remains in charge and insists his future was never discussed.

Pardew said: "We didn't have a conversation regarding my position. He was upset with the performance, and I think he has every right to be that as an owner. I told him some things which I think should be sorted out and some things that can help me.

"At the end of the day, Mike and myself do not want Newcastle to lose. We want to have the best possible team and we want to win.

"Now at the moment, of course, we haven't got that, so how are we going to achieve it? I think it was about how he could help me this week and support me, and I appreciate that."

Pardew has also received support from assistant John Carver, who challenged protesting fans at Southampton, and goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman, who expressed his views on Twitter, with both men issuing apologies on Thursday.

Pardew said: "I hate the fact John got involved in that incident before the game because he has got black and white blood. Nobody loves this club more than him.

"He's had more roles at this club more than anyone else probably - Academy director, youth team coach, first team coach to Bobby Robson and to me in different eras.

"That all hurts. Yes, I have been hurt this week. I didn't have so much of a steely resolve on Monday, if I'm being honest. Our resolve was definitely half-empty on Monday - but by Tuesday, it wasn't."

Meanwhile, Pardew has expressed his support for midfielder Jonas Gutierrez after he made public his ongoing fight against testicular cancer, which his manager has known about for some time.

He said: "I have to admire the way he has conducted himself. We honoured his decision to keep it quiet until such time he felt comfortable.

"I am sure people will use this as an example of hopefully how to deal with it. He has been incredibly brave to go on TV and give interviews. Someone will be diagnosed with it in the north-east today, it is that common. All our love goes to him and we just send our best wishes.

"I have not spoken to the squad yet [about it] but I intend to tomorrow or Saturday. He was popular not just on the pitch, but also off it with his stupid singing and dancing and naked antics up and down the corridor. He is much missed. We send our love."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph