The Matches Alan Pardew Must Win to Stay at Newcastle United
After a mixed start to the 2013-14 campaign, Newcastle United find themselves fifth from bottom in the Premier League. As a result, the pressure is mounting on manager Alan Pardew.
Monday’s defeat at Everton, in which the Magpies were down 3-0 at half-time, followed a home loss to newly promoted Hull City. Therefore, the up-coming set of matches are crucial as the season begins to take shape.
Sky Tyne and Wear reported this week that there was no truth in the rumour that Pardew offered to resign after the game at Goodison Park.
However, for speculation to ease, the Toon must start picking up points once more.
Here we take a close look at Newcastle’s must-win fixtures over the next eight weeks.
Cardiff City (Away)
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With an international break on the horizon following this weekend’s fixtures, a good result for Newcastle United is imperative.
However, as they’ve proved already this term, Cardiff City will be no pushovers.
Alan Pardew has acknowledged that Monday’s first-half showing at Everton was unacceptable, according to Lee Ryder in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
As far as the club’s fans are concerned, an immediate, positive response to Monday’s defensive horror show is needed.
If that doesn't happen, the pressure on Pardew will intensify.
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The last weekend in October sees the first Tyne-Wear derby of the season take place at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.
For Newcastle United, it is the ultimate revenge mission.
The Black Cats made off with the bragging rights in dramatic fashion last term, winning 3-0 at St. James’ Park in April to ease their relegation concerns.
With both clubs surviving the drop, the rematch later this month should be a fascinating affair.
The Wearsiders have endured a nightmare start to the 2013-14 campaign, and are currently rooted to the bottom of the table with just one point from their opening six games.
Their managerial sideshow, which saw Paolo Di Canio sacked amid talk of dressing room bust-ups and Kevin Ball installed as interim boss, has hardly helped their cause.
However, Sunderland’s plight could merely intensify the pressure on Newcastle to win the game. If they fail to do so, the furore on Tyneside could prove too much for Alan Pardew.
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Norwich City boss Chris Hughton represents a happier time in the eyes of many Newcastle United fans, but he’ll be hoping to add to their current woes when he brings his team to the North East next month.
The former Toon boss led the Magpies back to the Premier League in spectacular fashion in 2009-10, then set about re-establishing their top-flight status before being mercilessly sacked by owner Mike Ashley.
The Canaries are currently level on points with the Magpies after their first six fixtures, with two wins, a draw and three defeats mirroring United’s record so far.
Alan Pardew knows that home games such as this represent an ideal opportunity to pick up three points, but failure to do so could spell trouble for the 52-year-old.
West Bromwich Albion (Home)
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West Bromwich Albion have scored nine times in their last four visits to St. James’ Park, and Newcastle United will have to halt that trend when the Baggies come to Toon at the end of next month.
Steve Clarke’s men proved their credentials on the road last weekend with a well-deserved win away to Premier League champions Manchester United, and a trip to the North East will not worry them.
The clash with West Brom will be the Magpies’ 13th Premier League fixture of the season. With the Christmas period looming, the direction of their season should be abundantly clear by then.