All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Newcastle's poor run of form continued with a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Arsenal last night. Goals from Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud condemned the Magpies to a sixth consecutive defeat - which served only to pile the pressure on manager Alan Pardew. The beleaguered Newcastle boss acknowledged the frustration of the fans after the game, suggesting that this weekend's game against Cardiff is vital.
“They're frustrated. We had 2,000 here tonight making this long, long trip. Although we're playing a good team, they still expect us to win," said Pardew. "They've seen us lose again and they're not happy, and I have to respect that. But all I can do is do this job to the best of my ability. We've been top 10 all year."
“We should have performed better in this run, I know, and we've got to finish in the top 10. If Cardiff think it's important for them on Saturday, it's important for us to finish in the top 10, too, believe me" he added.
Midfielder Dan Gosling endured a lacklustre evening at the Emirates Stadium before being hauled off with just 20 minutes to play, and concurred with his manager, going as far to say that the visit of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side is like the Magpies' cup final.
“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get the win for the fans who always travel in numbers. On Saturday we need all the fans, we need forty, fifty thousand there at St.James’ Park and we need them all supporting us. We need the win and we’ll go all out to try and get that win and send them home happy," he said.
“It’s a massive game, it’s our cup final. It’s probably there’s as well, if they don’t win I think they’re down. We know that and they know that, plus they’ll know St.James’ Park is not an easy place to come to," added Gosling.
Meanwhile, the summer transfer window is fast approaching and Newcastle will be expected to be busy after a terrible second half to the season, but could in fact be weakened again. The January departure of midfielder Yohan Cabaye has been a huge blow to Pardew's men, and goalkeeper Tim Krul could join the Frenchman in leaving Tyneside.
The Dutch international was watched by Atletico Madrid sporting director Jose Luis Caminero last night as they look to make contingency plans in case Chelsea don't allow Thibaut Courtois to return to the Estadio Vicente Calderon.