By Damian Spellman, PA Sport
Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has been told simply to get on with his job amid intense speculation over his future.
The 53-year-old will send his side into an FA Cup third round tie at Coca-Cola Championship Stoke tomorrow with critics predicting defeat could spell the end for him at St James' Park.
However, the former Bolton manager is adamant he has the continued support of owner Mike Ashley and chairman Chris Mort as he attempts to deliver long-term success on Tyneside.
He suffered a setback today when the Magpies had a bid for Manchester United defender Wes Brown rejected but the club are considering another approach.
In the meantime, Allardyce will concentrate on turning around a poor run of results confident his reign will not ultimately depend on the 90 minutes at the Britannia Stadium.
He said: "We are halfway through a season and, for me, too many people are trying to make judgements on what should happen to me, and I think that is grossly unfair.
"I find that particularly hurtful. I have to accept it because that is how life is today.
"But I am just glad that Chris and Mike have ignored those calls completely and just said, 'Get on with it. We know what you said at the beginning, let's keep trying to move the club forward'.
"But I am not daft enough not to know that I need to get football matches played and won in the FA Cup and then on into the Premier League."
Allardyce arrived at Newcastle in May and forecast it could take him up to five years to implement his vision for the future.
But having seen his side take just nine Barclays Premier League points from the last 36 they have contested, and only one from 12 during the holiday period, the pressure is firmly on.
Allardyce said: "When I walked through the door, I said it would be three to five years before I could evolve a club of this size with a lot of support along the way.
"That included the fans being patient sometimes. If you see a poor performance, then you expect criticism. Yes, that's fair.
"But beyond that, the speculation side of that is not the sort of thing you would want if you want a club to be successful, certainly when it is pointed at you as a manager when stories are basically made up about your particular job or what's going to happen to you.
"That is throwing extra pressure on us all and that's really the unfair side of it.
"From the internal point of view, we are trying to move the club forward as quickly as we possibly can."
Allardyce could have Alan Smith back at his disposal at Stoke after his recovery from concussion, although midfielder Joey Barton will be absent once again despite his release from custody on charges of assault and affray.
The Magpies' lawyers are currently examining Barton's bail conditions to see if he can play before he returns to court on January 16.
Allardyce said: "There may be a possibility, certainly not for the Stoke match, but after that, there might be the possibility.
"We are doing our research into that with the lawyer and making absolutely certain that there are going to be no rules or regulations set that we might be breaking if we do attempt to get Joey back into the squad and take it from there."
In the meantime, the manager and his chairman will discuss whether or not to test Sir Alex Ferguson's resolve to keep Brown, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
Allardyce said: "I would have to speak to the chairman over that. From my point of view, I would like Wes Brown very, very much indeed.
"But I would have to speak to Chris on that and see whether we can move it forward or whether we cannot."Reuse content