Having failed to carve out many clear cut goalscoring chances, Sunderland ultimately deserved the victory, but the circumstances of the defeat would certainly have hurt the side. A third consecutive defeat since being the first team to overcome Chelsea this season has left the Magpies eight points off the top four, and out of the League Cup at the quarter final stage, and it appears as if the pressure on Pardew’s head at the opening of the season is starting to return.
With a European qualification finish becoming more and more distant with each passing week, a strong christmas period - and well-worked business in the January transfer window - will be vital in securing a top-half finish for the Toon - an aim that Pardew must achieve if he is to continue in his role as manager.
Thankfully for Pardew, his squad seem well aware that they must improve if they are to continue moving up the table, with Sammy Ameobi claiming that the side must regroup and fight back to recover the strong run of form they were enjoying earlier this year.
“Christmas is massive for us now,” the forward told the Chronicle.
“As a team we could fall by the wayside and it would be easy for that to happen. That’s not what we need to do, we need to fight back. We have got two tough fixtures in a short period of time. We need to regroup and go from here.”
Ameobi continued to address what he felt had let the side down during the defeat, claiming that, although Newcastle played good football during the game, a lack of discipline was the reason Sunderland could take advantage and register their third win of the season.
He added: “I think we played some good stuff but we just weren’t disciplined enough and they hit us on the break. It was a very, very close game and give Sunderland credit because they played well but so did we. We created a lot of chances and so did they.
“The manner of it really hurt, to concede so late. You just have to see the game out in that situation but we weren’t disciplined enough. We were bombing forward when maybe we should have just been happy enough to sit tight and wait for a chance.
“They are very fine margins. There’s a balance and you have to get it right – we were too attacking there and we got punished. We have to take the criticism that is coming our way.”