Premier League: Pardew fears the axe after latest Magpies setback

Ross McLean
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UNDER-FIRE Newcastle boss Alan Pardew last night reiterated his intention to battle for his job after the winless Magpies slumped to their third defeat of a so far wretched season against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

An early Peter Crouch header proved the difference between the sides and left Newcastle, who struck the crossbar late on through midfielder Jack Colback, with only five league wins from 25 matches since the turn of the year.

While lawyers for Mike Ashley claimed Newcastle’s owner was merely joking after stating his manager – the second longest-serving in the Premier League – would be sacked if his team lost at Stoke, Pardew admits the pressure is intensifying.

“We’re in the bottom three and we’ve got to fight, I have to fight and the team has to fight and that’s what we’ll continue to do until we can turn it around,” said Pardew.

“There will be some serious conversations before Saturday because he [Newcastle owner Mike Ashley] doesn’t want to lose and neither do I. I think it’s important I show to the team I’m here to lead and that’s what I will do.

“I’ve never really been in this position before but I’m a professional football manager, that’s what I do and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

Former Tottenham striker Crouch climbed high to plant a firm header from an inswinging Victor Moses cross from the left past Newcastle keeper Tim Krul in the 15th minute for his third strike of the season.

Austria’s Marko Arnautovic was denied by a post before substitute Gabriel Obertan’s cross fell invitingly for Colback whose effort rebounded off the woodwork in the closing stages.

The Potters are now 11th in the league table after recording their first home win of the campaign.