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Pardew appeals to supporters

Alan Pardew has called on Newcastle's supporters to back the team on Saturday as he fights to survive "the toughest run" of his career.

Pardew has overseen six straight defeats - the club's worst run of results in the top division since 1987 - most of which he watched away from the dugout following his ban for head-butting Hull City's David Meyler in March.

Monday's game at Arsenal was marked by protests in the away section, and one fan website has appealed for a mass walkout before the end of Saturday's home game against Cardiff.

Rumours of a dispute with Hatem Ben Arfa - currently training apart from the senior team - are another unwanted sideshow, but Pardew has urged supporters to put the club first this weekend.

He said: "The team comes first. At the end of the day this is not about me, Hatem or any individual player.

"This club is a lot bigger than that, and it needs to show that on Saturday. It needs to show we're a big club, support the team that gets picked and hopefully to a victory."

On his own future, he said: "I'm very proud to be manager of Newcastle and I always have been. I'll fight for that position because I love being manager here.

"I know recent results have not been good enough and I hope we improve on those in the last two games. We've had a very difficult run, probably the toughest run I've had as a manager - certainly results-wise it is.

"The most important thing is to try and get a stadium on Saturday that gives us a chance.

"We need to make sure we put in a performance in that first 20-25 minutes that gets the stadium on our side and gives us a platform to try and win the game.

"Everyone at Newcastle, within and throughout those who support us, wants us to win - and we want to get that win for them."

Ben Arfa this week said he wants to stay at the club despite being left out of the squad altogether at Arsenal.

Pardew said: "He trained with a different group I trained with today.

"He's in our squad in terms of on our rota, but I haven't picked the team or subs for Saturday yet."