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Newcastle United's problems dwarf those of Swansea City

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 18, 2014

Under-fire Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew.

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WHILE Swansea City have endured a week of unwelcome headlines, their trials pale into insignificance when compared to Newcastle's.

Never mind accusations of infighting at training, it seems full blown war has broken out between Pardew and the North East press.

Journalists have been banned from St James' Park since one paper decided to report on a protest march staged by disgruntled Newcastle supporters.

And, after Pardew suggested the media had played a part in his side's recent slump, another paper printed a back page apology for the Toon's poor results and for butting David Meyler.

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"I think the local press up in the North East have been damaging for us this week," said Pardew after his side were beaten in Stoke.

"They've come for us, they've been banned from the stadium and that's reflected in the fans."

That altercation between Pardew and the Hull City midfielder was especially embarrassing.

It resulted in Pardew being hit with a seven-game touchline ban, paying a heavy fine and having to make a grovelling apology for his behaviour.

He was even forced to concede he may need anger management classes, having also been heard aiming a foul-mouthed insult at Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini in January.

Supporters are growing increasingly frustrated with the former Charlton and West Ham boss, as illustrated by anti-Pardew banners being unveiled at the Britannia Stadium last weekend.

Some think Newcastle's heavy investment in French players has created an unbalanced squad, and that has also contributed to the Magpies' poor recent run.

Whatever the truth, there is no denying that things haven't been going well on the pitch.

That loss to the Potters was Newcastle's fourth straight reverse, following on from others to Everton, Southampton and Manchester United.

And they conceded 11 goals without reply in those three games.

"If you lose four on the trot as Newcastle manager it'll always be difficult," said Pardew.

"We all have to shoulder the responsibility, none more so than myself.

"I think the fans are fair, and we haven't been fair to them recently with our performances.

"I want to bring back that harmony we had with them not so long ago."

The good news for Newcastle is that they will be boosted by the return of Loic Remy and Mathieu Debuchy this weekend.

French international Remy has scored 13 times in 24 appearances this season.

"I hope the fans give the team a great backing," said Pardew.

"I hope we can put in a performance that helps because it goes hand in hand.

"Swansea are a great footballing side.

"They keep the ball and frustrate you.

"We have to be patient and take our chances."

Swansea City

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