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5:00 AM UTC Feb 9, 2016
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By ESPN Staff

Pearson wants swift Magpies appointment

Caretaker boss Nigel Pearson wants Newcastle's managerial uncertainty settled 'as soon as possible' after the crisis-ridden Tyneside outfit capsized in catastrophic fashion at Old Trafford. After a goalless first half, Manchester United struck six times in the second period, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting his first Red Devils hat-trick to send Sir Alex Ferguson's men soaring to the Premier League summit. While United's army of supporters can look forward to the next few months with relish, an air of gloom is enveloping the Toon Army, who saw Sam Allardyce sacked on Wednesday and number one candidate to replace him, Harry Redknapp, snub the offer to take charge at St James' Park just hours before kick-off. Pearson, who has pledged to continue until Allardyce's successor is found, admitted it was a day when everything that could go wrong for the Magpies did. And, while he refused to enter into any debate over the politics behind Newcastle's sorry predicament, Pearson does feel it would be better for everyone if a solution was found. 'It has been a very difficult day,' he said. 'When you are going through a transition period you need things to be as smooth as possible. Results like this make it very difficult. 'I am not going to make excuses. It is plain for all to see the situation would be better served by being resolved quickly. 'It is not my business to comment on those matters. Whatever is going on at that level will be dealt with by the people who have that authority. 'But the scoreline has altered people's perspective on how this day is viewed. The pride of everyone at the club has been pretty severely dented. 'The mood before the game was good. But the harsh reality is we have come up against a better side. 'What happened in the second half was down to a number of things including basic decision-making and bad defending. 'Some of the things we did were exceptionally good, others were appalling. When you are playing against a team as talented and ruthless as that, you make it very difficult for yourself. 'There was a big gap between the two teams.' Redknapp's refusal to uproot from his beloved south coast to take on what many, including Sir Alex Ferguson, feels is an impossible job, appears a wise decision based on the evidence of this sorry affair. United would not have been flattered if they had reached double figures such was their superiority, especially when Ronaldo cut loose after the break. The injury-time dismissal of skipper Alan Smith for his robust complaints about the legality of Carlos Tevez's sixth was almost too ridiculous to be believed given the state of the game, even if Newcastle had legitimiate grounds for complaint. Ferguson certainly feels the Newcastle hierarchy need to start taking a long-term view of the situation and give whoever eventually replaces Allardyce - Mark Hughes is now the favourite but Alan Shearer is the fans' choice - a chance to turn the situation around. 'I would say Newcastle are the most difficult club to manage in the game, gobbling up managers and spitting them out again with hardly a pause,' he said. 'Their list of sacked bosses reads like a who's who of football, with some of the greatest players taking on the challenge, though not for very long. 'Sadly, it seems that at St James' Park, if things don't go right straight away, the manager quickly finds himself operating against a background of criticism and questioning that inevitably leaves him operating on a match-by-match basis with ceaseless speculation about his future. 'It is hardly the platform for being able to introduce a long-term strategy and build the right foundations. 'If they regarded their managers as something more than ships that pass in the night they might achieve the stability and consistency that is the basis of success at any club.' Not that Newcastle's problems are any concern of Ferguson's. Offered the chance to clamber back to the top of the pile by Arsenal's surprise failure to overcome Birmingham, his team responded to some harsh words at the break to produce what the Scot described as one of the best second-half performances in his entire time at the club. Ronaldo's three-timer, taking him to 22 goals for the season, was accompanied by a double from Tevez and a brilliant Rio Ferdinand volley, securing United's biggest win over the Tyneside outfit for 40 years, just slightly longer than Newcastle's long-suffering fans have waited for a trophy. 'The second-half performance was as good as you could ask for,' said Ferguson. 'I am really pleased for Cristiano. He was always going to get a hat-trick at some point and hopefully he will get a few more. 'The way he is going this season, who is to say where he will finish up. He is improving all the time.'