Newcastle United players have not earned a Christmas party says Alan Pardew

VERY FEW MOMENTS TO CHEER:  Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew
VERY FEW MOMENTS TO CHEER: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

ALAN Pardew says Newcastle United’s players were right to cancel their Christmas party – out of “respect” for the club’s fans.

Pardew’s under-pressure side remain just two points above the Premier League’s relegation zone after Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City.

The club’s squad usually go away for a Christmas party this month.

But the players – who travelled to Glasgow last year – decided it wasn’t right to celebrate given the dismal run of form which has left the club perilously close to the league’s bottom three.

“It’s out of respect to our fans, and what we’ve served this year,” Pardew said.

“There’s no party for us, and the same for the staff. That’s how it should be.”

Supporters have been increasingly critical of Pardew and his players, who had been expected to again challenge for a European place after last season’s fifth-placed finish.

However, injuries and suspensions have taken a toll on the team, and the attacking fluency of last term hasn’t been replicated.

And for the moment, the club’s only concern is pulling away from the relegation zone.

“Trust me, there have been horrible things said about our group and our staff,” added Pardew, whose side face Queens Park Rangers at St James’s Park on Saturday looking for what only be their second win in nine league games.

“But we’re together, and we’re fighting and trying to put it right.

“Fans have to realise this isn’t just a game to us – it’s our livelihoods and our profession. It pays our bills.

“Not only that – we have to have a certain pressure of entertaining our fans who pay good money to come and watch.

“Looking at all those factors – we’ve not done enough this year. That’s why I think it’s right they called it off.”