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Newcastle United owe their fans a performance at West Brom

By Lee Ryder on Apr 18, 13 12:17 PM


It's hard to believe that just a fortnight ago Newcastle United fans were still allowed to dream of heading off to the Europa League final in Amsterdam and the possibility of a top 10 finish.

But football moves fast, especially at St James' Park.

Suddenly Alan Pardew has found his role on the cast change from the man who could become the first since Joe Harvey to lift a trophy with black and white ribbons on it, to a man facing the fury of the Geordie public after losing a Tyne-Wear derby.

There has been valid criticism on tactics, set-pieces, mindset of the players and the manner of the defeat.

You just wonder how many players have listened to any of it?

Yohan Cabaye 8-1735445.jpg

It is something that Pardew must take on the chin, learn from and come back stronger.

It is 13 years since a Newcastle manager endured the type of negative emotions that have swept Tyneside this week.

There are no excuses and - while some have done so through gritted teeth - there have been plenty of Newcastle fans who have given their bitter rivals credit where it is due.

Out of everything that has been levelled at Pardew and his team this week, the one thing that has been a recurring theme all season is that Newcastle were always going to have some tough battles on their hands at St James' Park this season.

Having finished fifth this season those who finished below United last season were always going to raise their game against the Magpies on home turf.

And so it unfolded on Tyneside on Sunday as Sunderland lifted their game to end a nine game streak without victory.

Just like 13 years ago, Newcastle fans have simply got to move on.

They will need to see more hunger and desire from their team at West Brom and hopefully a bit more when it comes to a game plan from Pardew at the Hawthorns.

Then it will be about securing a top 10 finish for Newcastle - something that is still up for grabs.

If they achieve such a task they will have done so with the odds stacked against them.

Just one away win all season, an inability to even threaten from corners and set-pieces and a clutch of players who look they are crawling over the finishing line to end what has been a poor season overall, does not bode well.

They say that for every action, there must be a reaction.

Well, we'll learn much more about this set of players come teatime on Saturday night.

Only then we will know if the players have listened to some of the things fans have had to say this week.


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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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