Wednesday 16 January 2019

Pardew's happy to roll with punches

Amid the vitriol and "Sack Pardew" banners held aloft by unhappy fans around St James' Park, embattled Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew did his best to keep his composure by not once leaving his technical area.

As the grumbles of disapproval grew ever more vociferous when Hull City took a 2-0 lead on Saturday, the smartly-suited Pardew kept faith that his side's miserable start to the Premier League season could not get any worse.

Bottom of the standings at the start of the day, Pardew (right) could breathe slightly easier after two goals in the final 17 minutes, including an 87th-minute equaliser from barely-fit substitute Papiss Cisse, capped a fine fightback.

"It's been a difficult start for us. I'm very conscious of not making excuses really because I've been accused of making excuses but I just want to try and defend the team," Pardew, who was banned for seven matches for head-butting Hull player David Meyler last season, said. "We've had to climb a mountain. The players were magnificent. I'm very proud of the way we conducted ourselves as a team and as a staff."

Thousands of flyers were handed out before kick-off urging Pardew to go, and there were sporadic chants throughout a frenetic game. "It's not lost on me... I get accused of being arrogant and egotistic but I'm also very proud to be manager of this football club," Pardew said.

"This is one of the best football clubs in the country and I'm going to fight to try and keep it. Of course, my team need to reflect that and they did today.

"It was important that I took the frustration from fans, in terms of standing on the sidelines, and I wasn't going to shirk away from that."

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