Belfast Telegraph

Pressure builds on Newcastle manager Alan Pardew as Southampton run riot

By Simon Hart

Alan Pardew is expected to ride out the latest storm over his position as Newcastle manager and still be in charge of the side for Saturday's game at home to Hull, despite continued frenzied speculation about his future.

Steve Bruce – who has not been contacted by any representatives of the club – David Moyes and Alan Shearer were all linked with managerial roles at St James' Park following a 4-0 defeat at Southampton on Saturday that plunged them to the foot of the Premier League table.

In another development, the Newcastle coach John Carver, who remonstrated angrily with travelling supporters from the north-east before the game had started, is facing disciplinary action from the club for his behaviour.

Carver took exception to the unfurling of a "Sack Pardew" flag that was revealed as the two teams warmed up at St Mary's. The manager was singled out for vociferous criticism from fans during the latest capitulation.

Newcastle have now picked up 18 points from the last 72 available and have won only once in their last 12 Premier League games after a Graziano Pelle double, Jack Cork strike and Morgan Schneiderlin's beauty sealed the points for Southampton.

The Magpies have yet to win a league match this season. That run has intensified mounting pressure on the 53-year-old Pardew, who currently stands as the second longest serving manager in the top flight.

Bruce, Moyes, Shearer and Rafa Benitez were linked with a position that is not yet vacant and the signs last night were that Newcastle plan to plough on with Pardew, at least until they face Hull at St James' on Saturday.

That promises to be a toxic atmosphere, with unrest amongst the club's supporters at its greatest height since Pardew took over from Chris Hughton in 2010.

Bruce, who is due to be sitting in the opposition dug-out next Saturday, along with Newcastle loan player Hatem Ben Arfa, is not believed to have had contact with any officials from Tyneside.

Indeed, he offered sympathy for Pardew's position. "It isn't nice," said the Hull manager. "It's a horrible Sunday morning for him and I find it very, very disrespectful that I'm linked with somebody else's job when he's still in a job.

"It's a hard enough job we've all got. We all know what it's like now in football management. That part of the game will never change."

After the 4-0 defeat at Southampton – the second time in six months he has suffered that result at St Mary's – Pardew admitted the unrest was affecting his team.

"Our fans were difficult, chanting my name from the start," he said. "It affected our spirit. It worries me. Mentally we couldn't cope. The criticisms are fair but until I'm told otherwise I'll continue to prepare the team."

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