ALAN Pardew has warned his Newcastle United players that they face being hauled off at the break – if they fail to handle the pressure.
Fans are planning to protests against Pardew during this afternoon’s game against Hull City.
Supporters turned on Pardew during last weekend’s 4-0 defeat to Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium.
And many fans feel the 53-year-old’s position is now untenable given the team’s record since January and the mood on Tyneside.
But the club’s manager – who was bullish in his pre-match Press conference – retains the backing of owner Mike Ashley, who he met last Sunday to discuss the team’s predicament at the foot of the Premier League.
Pardew must now find a way to win, a task he feels will be made harder by the likely hostility inside St James’s Park.
Asked how his players will handle the situation, he said: “I don’t really know the answer to what they are going to be like.
“The one thing I think is important is that I will look for players who I think are struggling with the situation, more so to protect them.
“It may well be that at half time, I make an early change. It might be that the situation has got too much for that individual player, not because he is necessarily playing poorly.”
Long-serving Pardew has had some memorable afternoons – and evenings – at St James’s Park as manager, when the passion of the club’s fans has driven the team on.
“I think it is important that they (the players) understand the history and dynamics of this club,” he said.
“At this club, we have had nights here which take my breath away.
“Like Benfica, when were were pushing for the goal in the second half, and Arsenal when we came back from four down and Chelsea when we beat them.
“They were unbelievable atmospheres. You are going to get the other side from time to time.
“I would not say this is a normal negative game. I think it is a little more than that.
“I have tried to express to them that it’s a place where emotions run high. You have to deal with that.
“The emotion in our game can change. Sometimes, if you are 2-1 up and it’s ‘let’s go on and get a third goal’. It’s an emotional crowd which relays itself on to the pitch.
“The players are going to have to deal with it.”