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Newcastle United slumped to yet another defeat on Saturday, as this time it was Manchester United who left the North East with all three points in a 4-0 win. Two goals from Juan Mata were followed by strikes from Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj in a comfortable win for David Moyes' men, but there is growing unrest at St. James' Park after another heavy loss, following on from 3-0 and 4-0 defeats to Everton and Southampton respectively.
“I am not baffled by it,” insisted Pardew when asked about his side’s poor form. “There is some explanation in losing key players but we do need to get a performance where something breaks for us. We just need to get the first goal. It would lift everyone.
“When you concede the first goal in the Premier League it is a blow. The timing of their first goal (after 39 minutes) was difficult for us. I feared the worst and there was an unjust feeling to it because there had been an offside moments before not given. My players have put in an honest performance but they have not been good enough either as a squad or as a team.”
There have been murmurings that the Magpies are simply playing out the season as they have little to play for at this stage, but midfielder Dan Gosling insists that the players are not thinking about their end of season holidays, suggesting that an eighth place finish would be a success for the club.
“The lads aren’t going out there thinking about the summer holidays,” he said. “We’re obviously trying to win the games, and we’re not conceding goals on purpose. We’ve played three very good sides recently and they’re all above us in the league. We’re probably second in our mini-league."
“Southampton are just above us by two points and we’re still chasing them down. If we finish eighth, it’s a great season, I think," he added.
Meanwhile, manager Pardew has been left to rue the club's decision to sell midfielder Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain in January, and could lose yet more stars after goalkeeper Tim Krul was linked with a move to Juventus. The Dutch international stopper, 26, is reportedly seen by the Serie A giants as the long-term successor to legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, with a summer bid reportedly in the pipeline.