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Manager Watch: Pardew, Hughton & Meulensteen desperate for points

Alan Pardew

Newcastle United, Norwich City and Fulham have found themselves on a torrid run of form lately, with their managers in need of a result this weekend.

It's never easy being a Premier League manager - especially when a fellow colleague has just been sacked.

And while news of Michael Laudrup's dismissal at Swansea City may have prompted a split-second's relief from coaches nationwide, the harsh reality of the job would have kicked in seconds later - and the realisation that they could be next.

That is the situation facing Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen, who is fighting for his job if reports are to be believed, and Norwich coach Chris Hughton, whose side have won just once in nine league games.

One more name might have to be added to the list, however, with Alan Pardew's Newcastle side desperately struggling for form as well.

The Magpies lost 3-0 to bitter rivals Sunderland last week and the Newcastle faithful did not hesitate to show their feelings towards their manager. What's more, Pardew's side would be 19th in the Premier League table based on their last six games.

But what makes this weekend particularly stressful for these three managers is that every single one of them is facing an uphill battle in terms of their opposition.

Fulham, who are bottom of the table and have conceded a staggering 53 league goals this season (the most in the division), travel to Old Trafford to face a Manchester United side containing Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Juan Mata.

Newcastle, meanwhile, face a tough trip of their own, as they take on a Chelsea side full of confidence at Stamford Bridge - where the Blues have never lost in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho.

Perhaps the unluckiest of the trio, though, is Hughton, as his Canaries side take on Manchester City at Carrow Road, with Manuel Pellegrini's side no doubt itching for revenge after their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea. When the two sides met at the Etihad earlier in the campaign, it infamously finished 7-0 to City.

All three managers, then, are in quite a predicament - just when they need the points the most. And if such bad form continues for all three, something - surely - has got to give.

Who needs the points more - Pardew, Hughton or Meulensteen?

image: © Brian Minkoff - London Pixels

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