Pardew braced for protests

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Under-fire Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says the ‘mass hysteria’ surrounding his future is having an effect on his players.
Pardew’s position at St James’ Park has been the subject of intense speculation with Newcastle rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table and the pressure is growing ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Hull City.
Supporters are expected to stage an anti-Pardew protest before, during and after the game with Hull on the back of some fans calling for his head during last weekend’s defeat to Southampton.
Pardew is expecting a strained atmosphere and he has rejected claims that he does not care about the club.
“The situation at the moment is almost like mass hysteria,” admitted Pardew. “It has really gone to a level which makes it really difficult for the players to perform in.
“I’m hoping we can turn that around. I don’t expect it to be easy.
“It has been suggested that I don’t care about this position as I’ve got a long contract and I’m going through the motions.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. I was absolutely sick after the game on Saturday (the 4-0 defeat at Southampton).
“The performance we put in was just not worthy of this football club and that I blame on myself more than the players.
“I have been accused of not taking responsibility for the defeat at Southampton and I think that’s because I won’t criticise the players.
“I try never to criticise players, even ones I’ve fallen out with. And I have fallen out with more than one player here.
“You don’t expect me to wave to the crowd and say, ‘Hi everyone, I’m happy, how are you today?’. That’s not happening.
“But it can also make you stronger – it can make the players stronger too. I had some really testing times last season, as we know. It’s about being a manager who can control certain situations.”
Pardew added: “I love this football club. Yes, I have been hurt this week. But for me, it is really about, what can I do then? I have tried to prepare the players for the scenarios ahead because you know and I know that it will be a difficult environment to play in on Saturday.”
When asked if he felt his position was now untenable, Pardew responded: “I have never really focused on what that word means because I’m under contract to this job. 
“All I can do is make sure that our performance is nothing like that again. I have been here for nearly four years and I think I am in the best position to do that.”

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