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Football: Pardew fears axe even if Newcastle stay up

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admits he could be facing the sack even if he guides his struggling team to Premier League safety.

Newcastle's fate remains undecided going into the final two games of the season and Pardew concedes there is uncertainty over his future after his side failed to build on last year's fifth-place finish.

Even a victory at Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, which will all but guarantee their top flight survival, might not be enough to extend his two-and-a-half year reign on Tyneside.

Pardew is set for end-of-season talks with the club's multi-millionaire owner Mike Ashley, which he admits will be 'uncomfortable' for both men after nine months of under-achievement.

The 51-year-old will meet Ashley in the days following the final match of the season at home to Arsenal on May 19, as the dust settles on a troubled campaign.

Pardew, just seven months into an eight-year contract, said: "I'll sit down with Mike as soon as we know where we are, and what division we're in.

"It'll be uncomfortable for us both, because we've both underachieved. Him as an owner and me as a manager.

"We need to find out what the reasons are and then it's for Mike, hopefully with me, to decide how to go forward. We've underachieved as the club, so the point is we all take responsibility.

"That ultimate decision is not mine, so we could get the points we need and Mike could decide he needs to move to another manager, though I'd like to think that he won't.

"We know we've got an uncomfortable conversation regarding the form this year, the underachievement that's been mentioned.

"It's about making sure we go forward and put right some of the things that were wrong this year."

Newcastle must address their wretched away form to help take them beyond the 40-point safety mark in their bid to avoid relegation.

They have won just once on the road this season, a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa in January and Pardew said: "We have to put our away form right. We have to improve on that record on Sunday, because it's out last chance this season.

"There have been games when we should have got better results. For whatever reason we didn't see it over the line.

"We got ourselves in good situations in games where we should have got points. That's a concern. That's cost us this pressure we're under now."

Pardew and company will come up against Loic Remy, QPR's France forward who was on the verge of a move to St James' Park in January before a last-minute change of heart, triggered by the personal terms on offer at Loftus Road, which exceeded those Newcastle were willing to offer.

The 26-year-old has scored five in 12 appearances for Harry Redknapp's side and Pardew added: "We were disappointed how that ended when we missed out on him, if I'm honest.

"We made that clear to his agent and to the player that we were upset about the way it was done. They maintain it was done in an honest and honourable way, and I have to believe that."

QPR are without a win in their last seven and have just four victories to their name all season, with their relegation confirmed two weeks ago

And boss Harry Redknapp admits he will look to strengthen discipline in an effort to get a grip of his own fractured dressing room.

"Next year lots of things have to change here - the whole discipline of the club," he said.

"I've pussy-footed around with some of them because they are here and you need to get the best out of them.

"I want players who want to be here, work hard and train hard - the others, just don't bother. In terms of discipline - it has got to change. Some of them think they can do what they want when they want."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130511/football-pardew-fears-axe-even-if-newcastle-stay