Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Pardew voices relegation fears

Alan Pardew, left, saw his side slip to their heaviest home defeat since 1925

Alan Pardew admitted he was a worried man after seeing Newcastle plummet deep into relegation trouble with a 6-0 drubbing by Liverpool at St James' Park.

On a day when the 51-year-old sent out his team under orders to make amends for their derby humiliation by Sunderland a fortnight ago, the Magpies slipped to their heaviest home defeat since 1925 as the Reds ran riot even without the suspended Luis Suarez.

Pardew said: "Well I'm worried, of course. You can't come off a defeat like that and the manner it was without being worried. I'm not going to criticise my players, I'm not going to criticise the team in any shape or form on an individual basis. It was a collective effort and we fell down collectively."

Asked if he is confident he can drag the club out of a terrifying tail-spin, Pardew said: "Yes, of course, and I think we have got enough in the dressing room to do that.

"We haven't become a bad staff or a bad set of players overnight. But we definitely need to roll our sleeves up and make sure we make a really good fist of these last three games."

Pardew and his players were booed from the pitch both at half-time and on the final whistle after capitulating in alarming style, much as they had done against Liverpool in December 2008. Five months later, they were relegated.

Asked about the fans' jeers, Pardew said: "They have got every right to. That performance is just not good enough for Newcastle.

"We are all aware of that, not just myself and my staff but my team, and on Monday morning at 10.30am I expect to see all my team out there whether their foot is hanging off or whatever ready to train. Now we have got to show we have got the heart for this little scrap we are in because other teams certainly have."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was delighted with the way his players responded to the loss of Suarez, and he said: "It has been a traumatic week for the football club but we accepted that.

"Luis did wrong, he takes his punishment and we move on. And we had to move on with a performance and I don't think we could have done any more."

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