STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom (AFP) – Stoke City added to Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew’s woes with a 1-0 win at the Britannia Stadium on Monday that left the Magpies still searching for their first Premier League victory of the season.
Defeat meant the north-east side had taken just three points out of a possible 18 from six matches, with only newly-promoted Burnley keeping them off the bottom of the table courtesy of having scored fewer goals.
Both Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, among the crowd at Stoke’s ground on Monday, and Pardew have become hate-figures for Magpies’ fans.
As if to prove the point, Pardew’s gesture in applauding the Newcastle supporters at full-time was met with yet more verbal abuse.
Prior to this match Ashley told the Independent newspaper that Pardew would be “finished” if Newcastle were beaten by Stoke, only to subsequently insist he had been joking.
But there was little for anyone connected with Newcastle – some of whose fans carried ‘Sack Pardew’ banners on Tuesday – to smile about when towering former England striker Peter Crouch gave Stoke the lead by heading in Victor Moses’s cross in the 15th minute.
Newcastle rarely threatened to score an equaliser, with Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic only really having to make one save of note in denying Daryl Janmaat.
Six minutes from time, Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback almost made it 1-1 but his close-range shot hit the crossbar and stayed out.
“It’s slight margins in the game but another defeat,” Pardew told Sky Sports. “We can’t keep getting beaten and we’ll have to address that.
“It’s been our problem for most of the season, we’ve got to find a little bit more quality. Our delivery and method let us down.”
As for his own position, Pardew – who has an eight-year contract with Newcastle – told the BBC: “It leaves me in charge of the team until I’m told I’m not. There’s a lot of pressure on me and that’s reflected in the team a little bit but I’ve got to be strong and resilient.
Stoke, who moved up six places to 11th on the back of this win, might have had a penalty in the first half when Moses was bundled over by Yoan Gouffran in the first half, while substitute Marko Arnautovic hit the post early in the second period.
But this result meant Newcastle had now won just once in 14 Premier League games, a run stretching back to last season.