ALAN Pardew has asked Newcastle United fans NOT to walk out during tomorrow’s game against Cardiff City in protest at the club’s plight.
There have been calls for supporters to leave St James’s Park en masse in the 60th minute.
Fans, angry at United’s dismal form this year, have called on United owner Mike Ashley to dismiss manager Pardew.
They also want Ashley to loosen the purse strings this summer after years of under-investment in the squad.
Supporters chanted for Pardew to be sacked during Newcastle’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night.
And the 52-year-old, having presided over a club-record six successive Premier League defeats, is conscious that many fans want a change in manager.
But he has pleaded with them to back his ninth-placed team against Cardiff.
“The club is the most important thing on Saturday,” Pardew said.
“I know there are protests, and walking out on 60 minutes.
“But what comes first? This is a football match on a Saturday afternoon with fans wearing the black and white.”
United were beaten by an injury-time goal from Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony on their last home outing.
Pardew went on: “Trust me, the team is desperate to win, as it was against Swansea.
“You can’t imagine the disappointment afterwards.
“Then we had such a tough game at Arsenal, but we dug in.
“If we show that character on Saturday, I really hope they stay with us and support us.
“We need support this week, we really do. We want to win for our staff at the ground.
“And we want to win for our fans and ourselves.”
Pardew has again insisted he won’t walk away from the job.
“No, I won’t walk away,” he said. “I love this job, and I am going to fight as long as I can for it. That’s what I have always done.
“I have been in tricky situations before. This is a situation where I perhaps need to dig deep, and I have got no problem in doing that.
“I will dig deep on Saturday and make sure I make the right decisions to get us a win.”
Bookmakers are already taking bets on the identity of Newcastle’s next manager – despite Pardew being contracted until 2010.
Former Manchester United manager David Moyes is the 13/5 favourite to succeed the 52-year-old.
Asked if he was worried about his position, Pardew added: “Everybody worries about their job to a degree, and you would be stupid not to.
“But really and truly in this job, you have to be cast in iron because if you start doubting yourself, then you are going to pass that on to the players.
“I have made it very clear that I am the manager at this football club, and let’s make sure that we make the right decisions on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Pardew will welcome back striker Luuk de Jong, who missed the Arsenal game with an ankle injury.
“Luuk de Jong has returned to the group, so that’s good news,” said Pardew.
“But other than that, everybody who was at Arsenal will be available.”
De Jong, on a half-season loan from Borussia Monchengladbach, has just two games left to convince the club that he can be part of the club’s future, having failed to score in his 11 appearances.