Pardew demands more from Newcastle
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is determined not to ruin his CV by adding another relegation from the Barclays Premier League to it.
The 51-year-old has endured a difficult few weeks on Tyneside as his side has slipped down the table to the point where it faces a very real fight for top-flight survival.
"It's a big, big club and we don't want to be playing, with all due respect to the Championship, in the Championship," Pardew said.
"Hopefully we get the result we need or two results or three, whatever it is. It is in our hands. We have a five-point cushion, although Wigan have a game in hand, and that's a significant cushion at this stage.
"We need to increase it and if we increase it, it will be very difficult for Wigan to catch us."
It has all been in stark contrast to his first 18 months at St James' Park, which saw him steer the Magpies to mid-table safety in their first season back in the Premier League and then roar to a fifth-place finish and European qualification last time around.
Whatever happens between now and May 19, Pardew will sit down with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias at the end of the season to discuss what went wrong and the implications for the future.
In some ways, it will be an uncomfortable conversation with mistakes having been made at boardroom and managerial levels as well as on the pitch.
But against the backdrop of claims of disunity within the dressing room, which have been vehemently denied by Newcastle, and mounting pressure on the manager from outside the club in the wake of thumping home defeats by derby rivals Sunderland and Liverpool, Pardew is concentrating solely on football.
He said: "There's no point having an inquest at the moment because it's no good to anybody. The most important thing is getting ourselves safety in the Premier League, and that's what we will try to do."
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