ALAN Pardew has admitted Newcastle United’s Tyne-Wear derby defeat will be a “scar” on the season – whatever happens between now and May.
Pardew’s side lost against Sunderland for the third consecutive time on Saturday.
And the 3-0 defeat at St James’s Park left fans reeling.
Newcastle, beaten at home by Sunderland by the same scoreline last season, were awful.
United, eight points off fifth-placed Everton in the Premier League, could yet challenge for a European place, but two derby results this season have left an indellible stain on the club’s campaign.
“Obviously in terms of the league position, we’re OK,” said United manager Pardew, whose side take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
“But it’s a blow that’s hard to take up here.
“Football, and this particular fixture, means so much to them, and it will scar the season for us, as this defeat always does whether it is for Sunderland or for us.
“But the only thing I can do is prepare the team as best I can for next Saturday, and that’s what I will do.”
It has been claimed that some of the players didn’t appreciate the significance of the fixture, a suggestion refuted by Pardew, who handed a debut to new signing Luuk de Jong.
If anything, he believes the “pressure” of the occasion was too keenly felt.
“I don’t think that was the case,” said Pardew. “If anything, it was the other way. We were too edgy, too hyped-up.
“We made mistakes trying to win possession when it wasn’t on, but it was in possession that we had big problems, like taking care with a pass.
“Our crossing was as bad as I can remember it.
“That can only come from pressure. In a training session, that wouldn’t happen.”