Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew believes Mike Ashley’s light-hearted threat to sack him was simply the Magpies owner’s way of being supportive.
Earlier this week, Ashley told a reporter that the Toon Army manager would be sacked if Newcastle lost to Stoke City on Monday night, a comment which Ashley’s lawyer said was designed to humour the journalist.
Pardew prefers to put a positive spin on Ashley’s remarks, with his side currently at the bottom of the English Premier League table.
“I think he was trying to be supportive in his own kind of way. They [the comments] are what they are and unfortunately we have had those sort of headlines for two or three weeks,” Pardew said.
“The focus for me really can only be Monday night.”
He added: “We are very conscious that we haven’t had the win.”
“We have got to try to get the balance right because it’s not a boxing match, we can’t fight our way to a win.”