Newcastle Utd must take knocks and come out fighting at Stoke City

Loic Remy
Loic Remy

ALAN Pardew says he and Newcastle United’s players must take the criticism that is coming their way on the chin – and come out fighting against Stoke City.

Pardew’s side were again booed off the field after another heavy loss last weekend.

Newcastle were convincingly beaten 4-0 by Manchester United at St James’s Park, with the injury-hit team having conceded 11 goals without reply in their last three Premier League games.

The club’s form has dipped alarmingly since the sale of influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye in late January.

And United manager Pardew’s position is again being questioned by fans – who had witnessed a series of abject performances – ahead of Saturday’s visit to the Britannia Stadium.

Pardew is acutely aware of the mood in the city, and he needs a result – and quickly.

“It’s a week where we going to have to take the criticism that comes our way,” Pardew said.

“But most importantly, we have to work between now and Stoke and get a formula to get us a result. That’s really what we need - a result and a goal or more.”

Should 10th-placed Stoke win, they will close the gap between themselves and Newcastle, in ninth, to three points.

Mark Hughes’s side also have a better goal difference.

However, United’s cause could be helped by the return of leading scorer Loic Remy, who has missed the last five games with a calf problem.

Newcastle have scored just one goal in the 10 games Remy has not featured in this season.

Goalkeeper Tim Krul – who has sat out the Man United and Southampton defeats with a knee problem – could also be available.

“We’ve got to make sure everybody’s available,” said Pardew.

“Maybe we’ll have Loic back, maybe Tim will be back.”

Remy’s return would be particularly significant given the way the team has struggled to even threaten the opposition’s goal in his absence.

Pardew added: “Loic is not far away – it will be a boost for the squad if we can get him back in and around us.

“Hopefully, we can for Stoke because that’s a big game for us. We have lost two heavily at home.

“We lost, obviously, at Southampton and we need to make sure we get back on track.”

United will be backed by 2,900 fans at the Britannia Stadium, which is expected to be sold out.