12 September 2014 07:41
Alan Pardew admitted Newcastle United fans calling for his sacking after three Premier League games this season has come as a surprise.
Pardew has divided opinion among Newcastle supporters since taking the reins in 2010 and he found himself under fire during the second half of the 2013-14 campaign, having lost 13 of 19 matches.
However, the 53-year-old is facing fresh scrutiny at St James’ Park after the club’s winless start to the season – one defeat and two draws – with one anonymous fan group creating a website calling for his sacking.
Pardew has also been criticised for his decision to loan fan favourite Hatem Ben Arfa to Hull City.
While taken aback by the pressure mounting from the stands, Pardew is determined to win over the fans.
“Everybody in the Premier League has it coming, but for me it’s probably come a little bit quicker than I expected. I have to deal with that,” Pardew said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.
“I’m responding to pressure like I always do. The only thing I can do is bring what I think is the right mentality to the group for the next game.
“If you ask most Premier League managers, they’ll say their treatment [from the fans] is very much the same. It’s probably a little bit more focused here – maybe because we’ve banned the local media, I don’t know. It seems to be slightly more revved up here.”
Pardew added: “Of course it’s important for the fans to respect and honour what you’re doing. I think maybe some of that trust was lost at the back end of last season.
“There could be a number of arguments why you would consider that to be my fault, and I would have to accept those if that was the opinion of the fans. All I can do is honour what I think I do for this football club, and that’s an honest job.”