Newcastle United latest: Pardew backs booing, City star linked

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Newcastle failed to bounce back from their 3-0 midweek defeat to Everton, as they were trounced 4-0 by Southampton this time, and manager Alan Pardew says the team were 'lacklustre', and backed the fans' decision to boo the team off the pitch at the final whistle.

“What can we say? They’ve left at 5.30 this morning and came and watched a performance that isn’t us. I’m not really going to talk about the individual players in the team today. Collectively we have to accept responsibility," Pardew said.

“The performance was lacklustre from us. The difference in energy levels between the two teams was marked, I thought. The emphasis of the game today was never changed because of the threat. We’ve got to threaten the game more than we did today. If you don’t threaten the opposition then they’re going to keep coming and that’s what Southampton did," he added.

Defender Davide Santon also agreed with Pardew's backing of the fans disapproval, suggesting that Newcastle's defeat on the South Coast could've been heavier because they were simply that bad against Mauricio Pochettino's Saints.

"I understand the fans' reaction at the end," said the Italian. "I went over to say thank you, as I always do, and they booed – but I understand because they deserve more from us, and they are right. We looked like we played with no passion and we just want the season to finish.

"That isn't true, but we were not good enough. It could have been 8-0 or 9-0, and it doesn't have to be like this," he concluded.

Meanwhile, the constant speculation over Mathieu Debuchy's future may lead Newcastle into the transfer market to find a replacement at right back, and Manchester City's Micah Richards was this weekend linked with a move to the North East. Richards has been out of favour at the Etihad Stadium for some time now, and could relish the opportunity to be a first-team regular on Tyneside - if Debuchy does leave.

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