UNDER-FIRE Alan Pardew admits his future is ‘out of his hands’ after furious Newcastle United fans vented their feelings in the wake of the Magpies’ 6-0 home humbling at the hands of Liverpool.
United suffered their heaviest defeat at St James’ Park since 1925 and many stunned supporters headed for the exits long before full-time – with one fan hurling his scarf towards the dugout.
Those who did remain until the end booed their side off at the final whistle.
With United still in relegation danger and having lost their previous home game 3-0 against rivals Sunderland, Pardew’s position has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.
This defeat will only increase the pressure on the man who was named manager of the year 12 months ago after leading Newcastle to a fifth-place finish and qualifying for the Europa League.
United owner Mike Ashley was not at St James’ Park on Saturday, but managing-director Derek Llambias cut a forlorn figure in the stands when the television cameras picked him out as the goals rained in.
Asked directly if he feared the sack, Pardew said: “That is out of my hands isn’t it?
“My job is to make sure, until I am told otherwise, to lift this team and get this team as good as it can be for next week and that is what I will do.” When asked if he expected the backing of the owner, Pardew added: “I hope so, yes.”
Pardew must now find a way to lift his demoralised side before they head to his old club West Ham this weekend – and he has challenged his players to prove they have the stomach for the fight.
He added: “The players are very much aware of the situation we are in and I don’t think they need a lot of telling.
“We need to make sure when we start on Monday we work hard to show this city we have the fight for it. There are a lot of people who will look at us after Saturday, especially on the TV, and absorb that game and think we have a great chance of being relegated.
“We have to prove that wrong.”
Daniel Agger put Liverpool ahead inside three minutes and former Sunderland man Jordan Henderson doubled that lead 15 minutes later.
Daniel Sturridge scored twice in the second half, with substitute Fabio Borini and Henderson inflicting more damage on a United side whic h finished the game with 10 men after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off for a second bookable offence 15 minutes from time.
For the second home game in a row, Pardew found himself having to explain a limp performance – and he accepts he will come in for renewed criticism this week.
He said: “I have no problem getting the flak, I accept that.
“That performance was not one of my teams.
“My teams are renowned for being organised and being on the front foot and you could not say that about my team here.
“I will take responsibility for that.
“That is probably the heaviest defeat I have had as a manager.
“There were a lot of things I didn’t like but I will make sure we put it right.
“That started straight after the game in that dressing room. That is the key.”
Newcastle remain fifth-bottom but have seen the gap between themselves and the relegation zone trimmed to five points.
That cushion, though, could be cut further if third-bottom Wigan Athletic win their game in hand.
Pardew remains convinced he has enough talent at his disposal to get the points Newcastle need to secure Premier League survival.
However, he admits he needs a response from his players in their next outing at Upton Park.
He added: “I genuinely believe we have enough in that dressing room and enough quality in my staff to ick up the points we need.
“It was a difficult day against Liverpool and we have had difficult days in the past.
“If I don’t get a response from the playing staff from Saturday then I will be deeply disappointed.”