ALAN PARDEW insists his players and staff will take full responsibility for Saturday’s woeful defeat to Southampton, but the Newcastle United boss would not comment on the futures of certain individuals he admitted failed to turn up at Southampton.
The Magpies slipped to a heavy 4-0 defeat on the south coast just days after they were dismantled by Everton at St James’ Park.
Pardew watched the game from the stands having completed his three-match stadium ban, but even his presence failed to put any spark into a lifeless performance as Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana all helped themselves to goals.
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Owner Mike Ashley was also at St Mary’s – sat in front of Pardew alongside club secretary Lee Charnley – but he could only look on as Southampton’s English contingent steam-rolled through the Magpies.
Stand-in keeper Rob Elliot was the only player in black and white to come away from the game with any credit and Newcastle had him to thank for ensuring the score line didn’t finish closer to double figures.
It equalled their joint-heaviest defeat of the season and represented the ninth game in which they have conceded three or more goals and their eighth league defeat in 13 games since the turn of the year.
Pardew has already spoken of the need to do ‘a lot of work’ on this squad in the summer and it isn’t out of the question that there could be a number of high profile departures when the season finishes.
There are doubts over the futures of several first-team stars for one reason or another, but Pardew insisted the display hadn’t altered the view of a need to strengthen in the summer.
“I don't think it's changed our opinion,” said Pardew. “One game hasn't changed our opinion that we need to bring in some players, we're aware of that.
“Although the scoreline is poor we've had a good positive meeting this week about taking the club forward.
“That's not really the time for a conversation when you've had a result like we had on Saturday. We just didn't look like we had a process of how to win the game and Southampton dominated.
“I'm not going to talk about individual players. Some didn't turn up. Collectively we have to take responsibility for that and that's my staff, my players and myself - that's how we work and that's all I'm going to comment on.
“People are going to criticise us and we're going to have to accept that.”
Over 2,000 Newcastle fans mans made the long trip to St Mary’s and they made their feelings clear as the Magpies sheepishly walked over the applaud their support at the end. Boos rung out as Davide Santon and Fabricio Coloccini attempted to approach the away end, but only Rob Ellliot received a positive reception.
Pardew insisted he fully understood their frustration, but admitted he also hadn’t expected to that sort of performance.
He said: “They've got up at six o'clock in the morning to come here and they've seen a performance which isn't good enough for Newcastle and they made their feelings known. I've got no problem with that.
Mike Williamson stands dejected as Southampton celebrate
“It was a shock to me. At one stage I thought 'If we could just get through to half-time' and maybe the players thought that too. Maybe they were just trying to get into the dressing room with ten minutes to go but in the end we conceded.
“Even second half we've conceded an early goal just when I thought perhaps we were making some inroads and from that point on there was only one winner.
“It's difficult when you've got 46 points on the board. It was obviously a big game for Southampton to jump above us and we need to get that motivation level back in the time.
“We don't want to finish on a sour note. We want to finish well. We're going to have to have to get back on the training ground and make sure we've got a team that is tight.”