Alan Pardew admits he feels sorry for his beleaguered players as they attempt to drag Newcastle out of an alarming mid-season slump.

The 51-year-old has seen his side ripped apart by injury and suspension in recent weeks, and the lack of strength in depth has been graphically exposed by a damaging run of nine defeats in 11 Barclays Premier League games which has left last season's fifth-placed club fighting for their top-flight lives.

He said: "I don't feel sorry for myself - I'm not that type - but I really, genuinely, looking at Colo [skipper Fabricio Coloccini] and Tim Krul, people like that, do feel for them. They are having to really work hard with players who perhaps shouldn't be in the team in terms of where they are in their careers."

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