ALAN Pardew is adamant he is still the right man to take Newcastle United forward in the face of growing unrest among fans.
Pardew’s players were booed off the field for the third successive game on Saturday.
Manchester United comfortably beat Newcastle 4-0 at St James’s Park.
It followed a loss by the same scoreline to Southampton and a 3-0 home defeat to Everton.
And many fans are questioning Pardew’s position ahead of a summer when a major rebuild is needed of a squad which has been found wanting in recent months.
However, Pardew - whose side take on Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday - believes he can revive the club’s fortunes and “close the gap” on the teams at the top end of the Premier League.
Asked if he still believed he was the right man for the job at Newcastle, Pardew said: “Yes, absolutely.
“But the only thing I’m focused on, if I’m honest, is Stoke.
“Nothing more, because every game is essential for us, especially on the back of those three performances.
“The opposition have been quality, but let’s be honest, we’ve been a distance away.
“We need to close that gap, but that’s a question for the summer.”
Newcastle’s season has unravelled since the January sale of midfielder Yohan Cabaye, with leading scorer Loic Remy’s recent injury having underlined a lack of goals in a team lacking ideas and inspiration in the final of the pitch.
“The last few results, particularly the last three, have been tough, tough games for us,” said Pardew.
“The opposition have been above us, there’s no doubt about that, and we have not really had any breaks in the games.”
Once Juan Mata broke the deadlock with a disputed free-kick late in the first half, there was no way back for injury-hit Newcastle, who had beaten Man United 1-0 at Old Trafford in December thanks to a goal from Cabaye.
Mata added a second after the break, and strikes from Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj capped another miserable afternoon on Tyneside.
“The first goal was a double blow to us,” said Pardew.
“Not only was it the first goal, it was unjust really. It was offside, and not really a foul.
“They lifted, and we couldn’t respond. They just had too much quality for us.”