ALAN Pardew said he felt for Newcastle United’s huge travelling support - after another forgettable afternoon at the DW Stadium.
Pardew’s side were beaten 2-1 by Wigan Athletic yesterday.
The club has visited the stadium eight times - and been beaten in all but one of those visits.
Newcastle were backed by around 5,000 boisterous supporters in Greater Manchester.
And Pardew was desperately disappointed after Arouna Kone’s 90th-minute goal saw his team denied a point from a game which marred by the reckless challenge from Callum McManaman which left substitute Massadio Haidara with suspected knee ligament damage.
The result means United - who have a Europa League quarter-final to look forward to next month - are still seven points away from Premier League safety.
“We know the score - we’ve got to get seven points as soon as we can,” Pardew told SportMail.
“We’ve got a fantastic cup to look forward to for our fans - who were brilliant - and our players. I felt so much sympathy for them.”
United - who also lost Mathieu Debuchy to injury - went behind to a goal from Jean Beausejour in the 18th minute.
Newcastle went on to lose Haidara, with the tackle - and referee Mark Halsey’s inaction - incensing Pardew’s players.
United rallied after the break, and Davide Santon got the team back on terms with a neat 73rd-minute strike.
And the club was agonisingly close to securing an important point when Kone, aided by a Maynor Figueroa handball, struck Wigan’s winner.
“We couldn’t have had much more go wrong in terms of some of the decisions we got,” reflected Pardew. “And we lost Mathieu and Massadio.
“But we still put in a fantastic performance. So did Wigan, to be fair, outside of the challenge.
“It was played in good spirit, and there was always an edge to it. There’ll always been an edge to a game when something like that’s been missed.”
Pardew praised his players for not looking for retribution, but he felt their keenness to take all three points saw the game become too open in the dying minute.
“I though we were good in the second-half in terms of how we came out,” he added. “We didn’t look for retribution - we just looked to play and win the game.
“But you could see we were focused on trying to win it rather than see the game out and draw.
“We got a bit open, but I could understand that with the emotions of the game. I’m never going to fault the players for that.
“It’s unbelievable the amount of decisions that didn’t go our way.”