Newcastle boss Alan Pardew sticking to his guns

RESOLUTE ... Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.
RESOLUTE ... Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.

ALAN Pardew says he’ll do it his way at Newcastle United – as long as he’s in charge of the club.

Pardew’s side ended a club-record run of six Premier League defeats on Saturday by beating Cardiff City 3-0 at St James’s Park.

United’s manager again left out fans’ favourite Hatem Ben Arfa, who was mobbed by fans as he watched from a seat in the Leazes end of the ground.

Miles Starforth’s match analysis: Newcastle United 3 Cardiff City 0

Pardew’s decision to leave out Ben Arfa came after the forward lifted the lid on his “frustration” at a lack of first-team opportunities in an impromptu Press conference.

Newcastle fans again chanted for Pardew to be sacked during the game, which saw Cardiff relegated and ninth-placed United all but guarantee a top-10 finish.

And thousands of supporters also walked out in the 60th and 69th minutes in protest at Pardew and club owner Mike Ashley.

Fans also sung Ben Arfa’s name intermittently, but Pardew – who talked of his “resolve” to see the job through in the face of hostility from fans last week – won’t deviate from what he feels is right for the team.

“I’ve had to stand by the principles I stand by as a manager these last few weeks,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“That was a solid, team performance led by the captain (Fabricio Coloccini). I thought he was magnificent, as was the goalie (Tim Krul). We needed them.

“In the times when Cardiff – who had nothing to lose – threw everything at us, we showed resolve.

“When the second goal went in you could almost sense in the team that we had suddenly become more relaxed, and had a bit more control.”

Asked about Ben Arfa, he added: “The most important thing is the team won. I don’t really want to focus on any particular player who wasn’t involved in the game.

“We won and the team was strong, bonded, and they played well.”

Pardew also dismissed a claim on social media that he had been struck by Ben Arfa as “rubbish”.

The 52-year-old, acutely aware of the depth of feeling on Tyneside after a dismal few months of football, was braced for a challenging afternoon on and off the pitch for him and his team.

“We talked about how difficult the environment was going to be, and that we needed to accept that and make sure that we did our very, very best to counteract that,” he said.

“Scoring first was good. I sat on the bench, because I was only antagonising everybody.

“We talked about all those things. The most important thing was delivering a performance individually and collectively, and we did that.”

Pardew - who faces an end-of-season grilling from Ashley – didn’t join his players on a lap of the pitch to thank those fans left inside the stadium after the game.

“I clapped before I went off, but again, I didn’t want to make an issue or a problem,” he said.

“They (the fans) are obviously very angry at the recent run. There’s no doubt about that.

“They are upset, they are angry – I understand that. I apologise to them for the last six games, and hopefully, we have taken a very, very small step towards them.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth