Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 6 match report: Alan Pardew admits his job is at risk after Daniel Sturridge inspired mauling
Newcastle manager 'accepts the flak' as 6-0 home defeat keeps club in relegation danger
Alan Pardew has admitted his future at Newcastle United is now unsafe after the humbling 6-0 defeat against Liverpool left the club fighting for their Premier League status.
Pardew signed an eight-year contract as manager in September 2012 but Newcastle's slide towards the relegation zone, compounded by Saturday's mauling at St James' Park, has left supporters on Tyneside questioning his tenure.
The former West Ham United manager's position is now under threat, certainly in the summer, but when asked if he feared the sack, he said: "That is out of my hands, isn't it? My job is to make sure, until I am told otherwise, to lift this team and get this team as good as it can be for next week and that is what I will do.
"I think that is probably the heaviest defeat I have had as a manager and there were a lot of things I didn't like but I will make sure we put it right, and that started straight after the game in that dressing room. That is the key.
"I have no problem getting the flak, I accept that. That performance was not one of my team's. My teams are renowned for being organised and being on the front foot and you could not say that about my team today. I will take responsibility for that."
Alan Shearer said on Match of the Day, when asked about the performance: "No spirit, no hunger, no desire: an embarrassing day for Newcastle."
Pardew denied there was a language problem with the French players the club signed in January. "I don't think the language barrier is a problem," he said. "I think perhaps experience and knowledge of what is needed in different game scenarios. A lot of those players have never lost 3-0 at home before, never mind six, and I think that showed today when we were 3-0 down. Some of our play was naïve and disorganised. I think there are a lot of people who will look at us after tonight, especially on the TV, and absorb that game and think that we have a great chance of being relegated. We have to prove that wrong.
"I genuinely believe we have enough in that dressing room and enough quality in my staff to get the points that we need. It is a difficult day today and we have had difficult days in the past but if I don't get a response from the playing staff from today then I will be deeply disappointed."
Mike Ashley, the Newcastle owner, was not at the game but managing director Derek Llambias was and he was caught on camera, stern-faced, during the capitulation.
Pardew's Liverpool counterpart, Brendan Rodgers, however, could not have wished for a better ending to a difficult week. He rightly suggested his side could have won 9-0, six days after Luis Suarez caused controversy by biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, earning a 10-match ban.
"I've learnt, once again, that I'm at an incredible club," said Rodgers. "I've learnt that no matter how good a player is, you can't do what Luis did, it's as simple as that. He's got his punishment, we've all accepted it and we move on. As a manager, things are just thrown at you. When you're doing your coaching courses and you're coming through as a young coach from 20 years of age, this is not the kind of scenario you read about in the manuals.
"But as a football club we stay together. We're very strong as a club. Our supporters today were brilliant, they recognised the intense scrutiny that was on us, so to come here and deliver that kind of performance shows the character that's in this club.
"It was a wonderful demonstration of what we're trying to do here. Offensively, we passed the ball very well first and foremost and we scored six goals, but the balance in our game was good too.
"The organisation, educated pressure on the ball and when the chances came we were ruthless. It was an outstanding performance."
Without Suarez it was easy to praise the performance of his side. Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge were outstanding.
When Rodgers was asked if the 20-year-old Coutinho was heading for stardom, he said: "That's for others to say. We build up players in the country and put them on a pedestal and then quickly nail them down. He's had an outstanding performance and people can see why we brought him in. He's 20 years of age and fits the culture of what we're trying to do here. He's technically strong and he's a very humble boy. He works hard, you can see the effort in his game, the pressure, the intensity, so he fits in really well, but there's a long way to go."
Daniel Agger, Jordan Henderson (twice), Sturridge (twice) and Fabio Borini scored the goals that emphatically moved Liverpool on from their Suarez crisis.
"To come here and beat Newcastle 6-0 when you know the home team is really needing the victory, I think it tells you more about our performance," Rodgers added. "The players were outstanding. It has been a traumatic week for the football club, but we accepted Luis had done wrong, he took his punishment and we move on. We had to move on with a good performance and couldn't have done more."
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