ALAN Pardew has labelled the campaign against him at Newcastle United “hurtful”.
Fans called for Pardew’s dismissal early in the season after a disappointing start to the campaign.
There were also calls for him to be sacked in the latter months of last term.
But United owner Mike Ashley kept faith with the 53-year-old.
And Newcastle’s fortunes have improved, with a five-game winning streak having taken the club up to eighth in the Premier League – and into the Capital One Cup quarter-finals.
Pardew told the Evening Standard: “It’s certainly been the most difficult time for me in Newcastle.
“The back end of last season spilled over into this season. We sold Yohan Cabaye (in January), and did not have a replacement.
“We were a bit unlucky at the start. Against Aston Villa and Crystal Palace, we should have won but we lost.
“It looked to our fans that we were in reverse. So it was tough.
“Some of the personal jibes were hurtful. You can’t disguise that.
“But you have to be resilient, particularly as a Premier League manager. You have to ride the storms.”
The sackpardew.com website was launched by a group of supporters keen to see a change in manager.
Pardew added: “I have never been into the website.
“When the website started, somebody said to me it was quite an organised website.
“It wasn’t like a nine-year-old on the computer sort of saying ‘I don’t like Pardew’. It was much more serious than that.”
Asked if he felt there was an intention to sack him on the part of Ashley, Pardew said: “I would never know if there was.
“There was enough in the background that I had done at the club that made the owner stick with me.
“He made me feel confident. I was confident going into the next period of games when we managed to turn it round.”