Football

Pardew understands Toon challenge

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Alan Pardew insists he fully understood the responsibility he took on when he accepted the Newcastle job.

The 49-year-old will send out his team for the first time in Saturday evening's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool at St James' Park, with the Toon Army once again in rebellious mood following the sacking of Chris Hughton.

"The attraction of a club like this is the love the fans have for the club," said Pardew. "At West Ham, it was a similar kind of love. It is passionate, almost bordering on religious, and you have to understand that. We carry a huge responsibility, the management team and the playing staff, to try to fulfil that criterion."

He added: "It's a pressure and you have to perform every week, so I am hoping we can play a brand of football and in a style that the fans enjoy and love, and get them behind the team. Hopefully, that will start on Saturday."

Several protests have been planned with civil unrest having broken out on Gallowgate once again, and while Newcastle fans have in recent times managed successfully to support their team while voicing their anger at owner Mike Ashley's regime, the atmosphere is certain to be tense.

Pardew admits he does not know quite what to expect as he prepares to be caught in the crossfire, but he is adamant his only focus will be on the result as the Magpies attempt to end a run of five league games without a win.

He said: "It will be slight apprehension because I know there is really good feeling for Chris and a lot of the fans are sad that he has gone.

"I'm afraid there is nothing I can do about that. I am sure they will want to pay their own respects to him in their way.

"But I hope then we focus on the game and win the game. That is the most important thing on Saturday for me.

"I will just go out and focus on the 11 players, that they are doing the jobs I hope they can do to the best of their ability and we come out victors."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Newcastle United

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