HE has been faced with banners and chants in protest against his position in recent weeks, but Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew remains confident he can win over supporters calling for him to leave the club.
Pardew barely surfaced from the dug-out during last weekend’s win over Cardiff City after sections of supporters made their feelings known by booing the Magpies boss when he approached the touchline in the early stages at St James’ Park.
Protests have also been clear in the away ends at Stoke City and Arsenal, while there is every chance “Pardew out” banners and chants will again resurface at Anfield when Newcastle finish their season against Liverpool on Sunday.
A wretched run of form since the turn of the year, which saw the Tynesiders register their worst losing streak in almost 20 years, has been behind fans’ protests against Pardew, but having been in a similar position before, the Newcastle boss believes he can turn things around.
“I remember losing to Millwall 3-0 when I was at West Ham,” Pardew explained, who also revealed Papiss Cisse will be out until September after undergoing an operation on his fractured kneecap. “As West Ham manager, that is not really a good thing to do. I had a few tricky weeks there.
“At a club like Newcastle, you are going to have down times, it is going to be a rocky road. Every manager has experienced that. In the last seven Premier League seasons I think I have got more points than any other manager, even this year. So I’ve got to try and lean towards the positives for myself, but not hide away from the fact that I’ve got to be better, and that’s what I want to try and do.
“I turned it around at West Ham and as a manager it happens more times than you think. I’ve had periods here as well where it’s been very, very difficult. Last year, we went to QPR and we really, really needed to win that game.
“There are games in your career that you really, really need to win to give yourself some breathing space or give yourself a chance to take the club forward. At Reading I had moments, I lost a play-off final with West Ham to Crystal Palace who had come from nowhere. There are many, many moments. It is not just one or two.”
After Sunday’s game at Anfield is out of the way, attentions will turn to summer recruitment on Tyneside. Next week’s end of season de-brief with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley promises to be a difficult meeting for Pardew, but once he receives clarification on his own position, the 52-year-old hopes new signings can help diminish the animosity currently between the club and supporters.
He said: “It’s something I said after the (Cardiff) game, I’m not making light of it. We made a small step against Cardiff and that’s all we made.
“We now need to make bigger steps, whether that’s in recruitment or a result on Sunday, or our first three results next year. We need to make steps to get our fans buoyed again, because they are obviously not buoyed at the moment, for sure.
“That’s one thing you cannot speed in my experience, the transfer window. That system takes its own course because players that you target, don’t want to commit until such a time as they have exhausted all their possible avenues, whatever they may be.
“Ideally, we’d like to do some business quickly, I think that would help the situation for sure.”
While Pardew admits there are certain things he needs to work on personally, the Newcastle boss has also called for the club not to make the same mistakes they have in the transfer market.
Their failure to replace Yohan Cabaye following his January move to Paris St Germain undoubtedly played a part in their collapse in the second half of the season and Pardew admits that is something the club must do better in the future.
“You always want to replace if you lose. I think that is something we’d look to do, and make sure we get a bit more cover,” Pardew said. “Two years ago when we lost Cabaye, we had (Danny) Guthrie, a similar type of player. We need to be careful if we lose a top player that we have got back-up underneath.
“In that particular position, that role that he had, we didn’t really have that back-up in the squad. You can still get good results in the Premier League when your top players are missing. We have done that before but we haven’t done it lately.
“We certainly haven’t done it in the second half of the season. When your top players are missing, and we had (Loic) Remy missing for a long period of time, we need to get better results at this football club.
“The Hull incident was obviously a turning point I definitely didn’t want to have. I think that affected me and the team. I will make sure that never happens again. It stands out if I’m honest from anything else.”