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Relegation worries for Pardew

Alan Pardew

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admits his side face a battle to retain their Barclays Premier League status.

They are only four points clear of the drop zone after losing 4-0 to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

Pardew said: "We have always been conscious we have never been that far away (from the relegation zone). The scoreline is going to put some pressure on us in terms of our next home game. It is one of those days you would like to forget as a manager. But I think we have enough in the dressing room and enough quality to win the next game and give ourselves some breathing space."

Jonathan Walters scored his eighth goal of the season when he headed in Jermaine Pennant's cross.

Pennant then scored at the back post after goalkeeper Steve Harper made a mess of a clearance in the 46th minute.

Three minutes later Danny Higginbotham drove a free-kick through the wall, leaving Harper rooted to the spot.

Ricardo Fuller completed the scoring in stoppage time with a wonderful individual effort after a flick-on from Walters.

Pardew said: "I am obviously disappointed with the scoreline. I thought at half-time we were unlucky to be 1-0 down as we controlled much of the tempo.

"But the first five minutes of the second half cost us the game. Even before Harper made an error we should have got rid of the ball.

"We conceded a second and from moment on we had a mountain to climb. Again with the third goal we put the ball at risk, although I don't think it was a free-kick."