Alan Pardew has pledged to come back “better and stronger” next season and admitted Newcastle United need to buy well to stem the rising tide of negativity at St James’ Park.
Nine-man United ended the season with a 2-1 reverse at Anfield on a day when the hosts were pipped to the title and the visitors, who had Shola Ameobi and Paul Dummett dismissed, fell to tenth in the Premier League.
That meant Newcastle matched their pre-season target but the season’s end has been toxic with calls for owner Mike Ashley to sell up and the manager to depart too.
Pardew now heads into an end-of-season meeting with Ashley to dissect where the campaign went wrong – and to make a case to be given the chance to put it right.
A summit in London is scheduled for the early part of the week and Pardew is certain where things went wrong – including his own performance among the factors.
He said: “I just think we’re a club who in in the first half of the season were very, very competitive and had form for Europe to a degree.
“The second half we weren’t good enough and the reasons are shared by us all, including myself.
“I wasn’t good enough. So I understand I need to come back better and stronger and I will do.
“This club needs to recruit well in this period. We have bought good young players but we need, offensively, quality to come in and hopefully we can secure those and give our fans something to hang on to for the pre-season. We need to show them we’re back to where we were in the first half of this season.”
The United manager knows he is losing his popularity battle with certain sections of the Newcastle support and there were more chants for his removal yesterday, although a much-improved performance diluted those calls.
Pardew was given a ringing endorsement by opposite number Brendan Rodgers. He said: “I have to be honest, I can’t believe the stick Alan Pardew has got. He’s finished top ten. I understand the sheer scale of the club, Newcastle are an incredible football club with the size of it.
“They went close to Champions League football and they’re a club who can be up there but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what has happened there.
“I saw banners saying ‘Pardew out’ around the ground. The team hasn’t bought a player in 18 months, they’ve sold their best player in (Yohan) Cabaye. He’s not a magician. When he had the players there they just missed out on Champions League so it’s not Alan Pardew’s fault. It’s not him. He’s a wonderful coach.
“He showed when he had the players there’s a good organisation about his team, his team was dynamic, the supporters loved it and they got into Europe the following season.
“They did well but it was difficult and I know because we were in the Europa League the first season I was here so I know how tough that is. The shouts and the bits I’ve seen about whether he’s going to be there or not? He’s perfect for Newcastle.
“I think he’s shown that. If you’re a manager and you take the club (nearly) to the Champions League and you don’t sign a player permenantly then don’t blame the manager. ”
Pardew also argued against red cards for Dummett and Ameobi, saying referee Phil Dowd should have “managed” the game better.