Newcastle Utd boss will battle ‘mass hysteria’

Newcastle United fans chanting at the end of the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's
Newcastle United fans chanting at the end of the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's

EMBATTLED Alan Pardew’s adamant his position at Newcastle United is NOT untenable – despite “mass hysteria” among fans wanting his dismissal.

Fans chanted for Pardew to be sacked during last weekend’s defeat to Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium.

And protests are planned for tomorrow’s Premier League home game against Hull City.

But Pardew – who has presided over a dismal run of results stretching back to the turn of the year – retains the backing of owner Mike Ashley.

And he insists he still believes he is the right man for the job.

Asked if his position was now untenable given the depth of mood on Tyneside, Pardew said: “I’ve never really focused on what that word means, if I’m honest, because I’m under contract.

“I look at our last performance – I think that’s what any manager does.

“I have focused a little bit on that performance at Southampton, and all I can do, while I am under contract at this club as manager, is make sure that our performance is nothing like that again.

“That’s what I intend to do, and that’s why I think the experience I have got as a manager, and the fact that I have been here for nearly four years, I think I am in the best position to do that.”

Pressed on whether he was the best person to address the problems fans have witness on the pitch, he added: “I think so – but I don’t think our fans agree with that!”

Pardew, however, conceded hostility felt towards him off the pitch has become an issue for his players on the field.

“This situation at the moment is almost like mass hysteria, to a degree,” he said.

“It’s really gone to a level which makes it really difficult for players to perform in. I am hoping we can turn that around.”

On the protests, he added: “There’s nothing I can do about that.

“I can’t affect things I can’t affect.

“The only thing I can really affect this Saturday is the team, my manner, my bench’s manner and everything else that we do in terms of our conduct in that game.”