Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who is currently under fire of getting the sack, believes the ‘mass hysteria’ surrounding his future his having an effect on his players.
The manager’s position at St. James’ Park has seen some intense speculation with the Magpies currently at the bottom of the English Premier League table, and the pressure is growing ahead of the visit of Steve Bruce’s Hull City at home this weekend.
The fans of the Toon Army are expected to stage an anti-Pardew protest before, during and after the game against Hull on the back of some supporters calling for his head during their 4-0 defeat away to Southampton last weekend.
Pardew is expecting a strain atmosphere and he has rejected claims that he does not care about the club.
“The situation at the moment is almost like mass hysteria,” admitted Pardew.
“It has really gone to a level which makes it really difficult for the players to perform in.”
“I’m hoping we can turn that around. I don’t expect it to be easy.”
“It has been suggested that I don’t care about this position as I’ve got a long contract and I’m going through the motions.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth. I was absolutely sick after the game on Saturday (the 4-0 defeat at Southampton).”
“The performance we put in was just not worthy of this football club and that I blame on myself more than the players.”
“I have been accused of not taking responsibility for the defeat at Southampton and I think that’s because I won’t criticise the players.”
“I try never to criticise players, even ones I’ve fallen out with.”
“And I have fallen out with more than one player here.”
Pardew added: “I love this football club. Yes, I have been hurt this week. But for me, it is really about, what can I do then? I have tried to prepare the players for the scenarios ahead because you know and I know that it will be a difficult environment to play in on Saturday.”
When asked if he felt his position at the club was untenable, Pardew said: “I have never really focused on what that word means because I’m under contract to this job. ”
“All I can do is make sure that our performance is nothing like that again. I have been here for nearly four years and I think I am in the best position to do that.”