The Magpies plunged deeper into crisis on Saturday when, having battered fellow strugglers Reading to the brink of submission, they turned in an abject second-half performance to surrender a 1-0 lead and eventually go down 2-1 in a game they simply could not afford to lose if they wanted to show they were not in a relegation scrap.
They now find themselves just two points clear of the Barclays Premier League drop zone ahead of another huge fixture at Aston Villa - where they were relegated at the end of the 2008-09 season - on January 29.
Pardew, who was booed by the home fans as he made his second-half substitutions, followed by a chorus of "You don't know what you're doing", is under no immediate pressure despite winning just three of the 18 league games since he signed his eight-year contract at the end of September.
Demba Ba's contract situation was a ticking time bomb which was always likely to explode in the manager's face, while want-away skipper Fabricio Coloccini's personal problems could not have been foreseen, and there is an acceptance that the club's summer transfer policy, which saw them recruit only Vurnon Anita to the senior ranks, was flawed.
Owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias will attempt to address several of those issues before the close of the January transfer window - they will hold talks with Coloccini and his representatives this week, while Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is due on Tyneside on Monday, and the hunt for a striker after Loic Remy's late defection to QPR is ongoing.
Source: Newcastle United Mad