ALAN Pardew has admitted Newcastle United are in danger of getting dragged into a relegation battle.
Pardew’s side lost their fourth successive Premier League game last night.
And the 2-1 defeat to Stoke City left the club just two points clear of the Premier League’s bottom three.
The last time Newcastle lost four successive league games, in the 2008/09 season, the club went on to be relegated.
Pardew – who had been looking for his team to again challenge for a Champions League before a ball was kicked this season – has conceded United are in a perilous position ahead of a tough run of festive fixtures.
Asked if it was too early to be talking about the club being involved in a relegation scrap, Pardew told the Gazette: “Well, we are now, and no it’s not too early.
“We can’t bury our head in the sand, and we have to get wins to get out of it.”
Pardew, at least, was heartened by the performance of his team, which was an improvement on that in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Southampton.
Until Jonathan Walters’ 81st-minute equaliser, Newcastle looked set to claim a welcome three points thanks to Papiss Demba Cisse’s goal. Cameron Jerome then scored the winner five minutes from time.
They must now pick themselves up in time to face Wigan at St James’s Park on Monday.
“I’m so buoyed by the performance, (and) that the things we have changed, and the things we’ve done, have definitely helped the team,” added Pardew.
“The team have responded to them. Hopefully, we can take that forward.”