Under-pressure Pardew focused on three points

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew insists he is solely focused on delivering three points when Newcastle travel to Stoke City tomorrow night, despite speculation surrounding his future at St James’ Park, reports ESPN.

The Toon boss is under intense pressure from supporters, who produced a protest at him being in charge of the club during last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Hull City.

Club owner Mike Ashley also claimed he would be: “Dead. Finished. Over” if he failed to produce anything more than a win against Stoke, however Pardew says Ashley’s comments should be taken as a joke – or even perhaps as a back-handed compliment.

He said: “I think he was trying to be supportive in his own kind of way. They [the comments] are what they are and unfortunately we have had those sort of headlines for two or three weeks.

“The focus for me really can only be Monday night.

“We are very conscious that we haven’t had the win. We have got to try to get the balance right because it’s not a boxing match, we can’t fight our way to a win.

“We have got to get a balance between having enough fight and playing, and I think we got that right at Palace (who they beat 3-2 in the Capital One Cup in midweek). We had enough determination to win the game, but also were relaxed enough to play.”