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Newcastle's run of three defeats has killed any lingering momentum towards the end of the season, as a 3-0 and two 4-0 defeats in their last three games against Everton, Southampton and Manchester United have fans frustrated at their slump in the second half of the season. With a trip to Stoke on the horizon this weekend, manager Alan Pardew says his side deserve the criticism they are receiving and will take it on the chin.
“It’s a week where we going to have to take the criticism that comes our way,” Pardew said. “But most importantly, we have to work between now and Stoke and get a formula to get us a result. That’s really what we need – a result and a goal or more.”
Their pursuit of a win hasn't been helped by the absence of French striker Loic Remy. The on-loan QPR hitman is Newcastle's top scorer this season with 13 goals, but the former Marseille man has been sidelined with a calf injury recently, and Pardew remains hopeful that Remy will make a return against Stoke this weekend.
"Loic is not far away - it will be a boost for the squad if we can get him back in and around us. Hopefully, we can for Stoke because that's a big game for us. We have lost two heavily at home," said the Newcastle boss.
Whenever Remy does make his return, it could well be one of his final appearances for the Magpies. His loan deal from QPR expires in the summer and after a superb season on Tyneside, a number of other teams are believed to be targeting the Frenchman, who is expected to be part of Laurent Blanc's side at the World Cup this summer.
New speculation suggests that Premier League rivals Tottenham have made 'a firm offer' for Remy, with Spurs still desperately seeking help up front after the failed signing of Valencia striker Roberto Soldado. Newcastle have money to spend after the January sale of Yohan Cabaye, but Remy could still look to go on to bigger and better things.