All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew recently received the news he'd been waiting for, as owner Mike Ashley reassured the under-fire manager that his job was safe. However, he was given an unwelcome headache today after former Magpies striker Loic Remy suggested that he was allowed a a rest on the final day of the season - a claim that Pardew has vehemently played down.
"To suggest that I considered there to be nothing riding on that game is also completely false," said Pardew. "Our final league position was at stake, as was the race for the Barclays Premier League title for our opponents, Liverpool. What is more, each and every one of us associated with the Club was desperate to get a result for our supporters, especially those 2,800 travelling fans who made the journey to Anfield that day."
"The reality was that Loic had sustained an ankle injury in our game against Cardiff the previous week. The results of an MRI scan conducted after that fixture revealed ligament damage and swelling around the joint," added the Magpies boss. "It was a result of this injury, and the fact that Loic was unable therefore to complete any training session during the week leading up to the Liverpool game, that meant he was not fit for selection,"
Meanwhile, Pardew was only able to bring in striker Luuk de Jong in the January transfer window, but the Dutchman endured a terrible spell on Tyneside. The Borussia Monchengladbach man failed to hit the back of the net, and says that he was hugely disappointed with his displays.
"It hurts that I didn't score, yes," he admitted. "Of course I want to score goals - I'm a striker and it's what I've done at every other club I have played for. I didn't score goals, and that's what I should do as a striker, so I'm not happy with that.
"I played a lot of my games in the number ten role, behind the striker, and had to do a lot of defensive work as well, so it's then not always easy to get straight back up front. But I had some opportunities but didn't score and that is what I will be judged on," added de Jong.
Newcastle's squad is expected to undergo a huge overhaul this summer, and whilst Pardew has already been linked with a number of new signings, today it's departures being speculated. Long-serving defender Steven Taylor has found first-team opportunities hard to come by of late, and rumours suggest that Crystal Palace and newly-promoted QPR will look to sign him this summer.