ALAN Pardew’s determined Newcastle United bring some early Christmas cheer to Tyneside – after a miserable few weeks.
Pardew’s side take on Wigan Athletic at St James’s Park tonight looking to end a run of four successive Premier League losses
The sequence has left the club just two points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle have taken a battering in recent weeks, but there was some dignity in defeat at Stoke City last week, with United’s players being applauded off the field at the Britannia Stadium.
And Pardew admits Newcastle must retain the “respect” of a fanbase whose patience has been tested by recent results and performances, and back in the summer by a lack of investment in the transfer window.
“I don’t take that for granted,” Pardew told the Gazette. “They’re our crowd, and we want to give them a win.
“Forget about the media and the criticism we’ve had – it means nothing to us.
“What is important to us is we have the respect from our fans, and we get them a win and cheer up their Christmas. At the minute, it’s a miserable Christmas.
“We need as many as we can there (at St James’s Park). If they’re like they were at Stoke, they’ll give us a great chance of winning the game.”
With United’s squad having been decimated by a series of injuries, Pardew admits the next few weeks are going to be tough for everyone involved at the club.
Asked what his message was to frustrated supporters, he added: “We know we haven’t played well, and we thank them for their support.
“We want to put that right. We went some way to doing that at Stoke.
“The media will try to pull us apart – there’s no doubt about that. If we were to lose against Wigan, they’d be desperate to pull us apart.
“We’ve got to stick together. We’ve got a great team in the background, and it will come back to us.
“In the meantime, in the next couple of months, we’ll all have to dig in to get that win.
“Whether it’s the fans, the chairman, the manager the masseur – we’re all going to have to dig in. That’s what we’re doing.”