ALAN Pardew has pleaded with Newcastle United’s travelling fans to stick by his beleaguered team at Upton Park.
Newcastle take on West Ham United on Saturday knowing a win could be enough to keep the club in the Premier League.
But Pardew’s side, reeling from the weekend’s 6-0 defeat to Liverpool, have won just once on their domestic travels all season.
And they face an uphill task against Sam Allardyce’s West Ham side, captained by former United midfielder Kevin Nolan.
Yet the away end at the Bolelyn Ground is sold out – just as the Smethwick End was at The Hawthorns for the club’s last away outing against West Bromwich Albion, which ended 1-1.
Newcastle’s players were applauded on and off the pitch that afternoon, and Pardew’s says his players are grateful for the vocal backing they get away from Tyneside. “They’ve been vital to us all year – the away fans have been absolutely terrific,” Pardew told SportMail.
“I know they won’t turn on us – they love the club so much.”
Only Reading – whose relegation to the Championship was confirmed at the weekend – have a worse away record than Newcastle, who have picked up just nine points on their travels so far this season.
And unless United pick up some points from their next two games – the West Ham fixture is followed by a visit to relegated Queens Park Rangers – they could find themselves needing a win against Arsenal at St James’s Park on the final day of the season to stay in the Premier League.
“We need to show them something,” added Pardew, who had a spell as West Ham manager earlier in his career.
“We need to show them we’re better than our record suggests.
“Our record isn’t good enough away from home – it’s got to improve dramatically if we’re going to stay up.”Twitter @milesstarforth