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May 2, 2013

Pardew hurt by criticism of players

Alan Pardew is insulted by claims that Newcastle's French players are not concerned by the potential threat of relegation.

Following a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool last Saturday, the club's transfer policy of recruiting a number of French players in January was heavily criticised.

With the Magpies currently sitting 17th in the Premier League table and just five points clear of the relegation zone, some feel that the signings lack the required commitment to beat the drop.

"I just find that accusation insulting if I'm honest," the Newcastle manager told nufcTV. "If you think because players are from a foreign country some of our players are not bothered, it's ridiculous of course they're bothered. Our professions are on the line but we have our destiny in our own hands. Only we can put it right. We've got a little gap so we need to make sure we extend it."

Pardew also rubbished claims that his dressing room was divided, insisting that the Magpies camp are united in their aim to fight off relegation.

"It's part and parcel of the game," he said. "Some of the wildfire that we've had has been way, way off the mark. We put a poor performance in on Saturday and we need to put that right. That's the most important thing.

"As far as I'm concerned the group is very much together, pulling together. The fact we have a lot of French players and some language difficulties has been kind of torn up and made to be something else. There is no problem and we go to the next game. There has not been words out of turn.

"If you don't get feedback from your players, trust me you're not going to be a manager at any level. You need to have feedback and understand what the problems are that they're experiencing on the pitch and then you have to have a game plan that works."

Despite such difficulties over the past week, Pardew was handed a boost with the news that club captain Fabricio Coloccini is finally ready to return to action.

The defender was back in training last week following a back injury he picked up in February, and the Newcastle boss believes the 31-year-old's experience will restore a much needed calmness to his side.

"He's the captain of this club," he said. "Sadly we've missed him for a lot of the season in terms of injuries and one thing after another, but he's fit and well. You need your leaders and people who are experienced. You can't get carried away and think this is a fight, it's not what we do.

"It's not a boxing match, it's a game of football. You need to have a calm head and you need to play. The one thing Colo obviously brings is that calmness to the team and I think that is very important to where we are right now."

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