ALAN Pardew has told his Newcastle United players it’s time to “stand up and deliver” against Hull City.
There will be more protests against embattled Pardew at St James’s Park on Saturday.
Newcastle’s 2,500 fans at the St Mary’s Stadium last weekend chanted for his dismissal during the club’s 4-0 Premier League defeat to Southampton.
But Pardew, for now, still has the backing of United owner Mike Ashley.
The 53-year-old claimed after the game the hostility aimed at him had affected his win-less team, which has been found wanting at both ends of the pitch.
However, the decibel levels will be louder at St James’s Park, with few fans now believing Pardew is part of the solution to the club’s on-pitch problems.
For his part, Pardew admits the pressure is on him and his new-look team.
“It’s a time to stand up and deliver, really,” said Pardew. “Saturday is an important game for us, because now we’ve had a difficult start.
If we had got something (on Saturday) – even a point – it would have been an OK start, because we’ve had some tough games, I think, to start with.
“Now we’ve got a game at home where the pressure’s really going to be on us, and we’re going to have to deliver.”
Pardew - who is set to recall fit-again Cheik Tiote to the starting XI - has implored his players to stick together.
And Newcastle’s supporters will see how they respond, knowing their manager - the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next to leave his post - is seemingly in borrowed time.
Pardew’s side, which has failed to score in three of its four league defeats, looks short of goals.
But Pardew has few options up front after the club’s failure to sign an experienced striker to replace former loanee Loic Remy in the summer.
He is without the injured Siem de Jong as well as Rolando Aarons and Adam Campbell, while striker Papiss Demba Cisse is at least a week away from his comeback.
United’s frailties at the back also need addressing, with the team having conceded seven goals in its last two matches.
And Pardew could make a defensive change for the Hull game.
And Pardew will need a significant improvement from captain Fabricio Coloccini, who was a shadow of his imperious best at the St Mary’s Stadium.
Pardew - who refused to speak to the written Press after the Southampton defeat - will also speak to the media today after overseeing the morning’s training session.