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Hughes has sympathy with under-fire Pardew

Stoke manager Mark Hughes understands how Alan Pardew must be feeling as he battles to keep his critics at bay, but also knows the only way the Newcastle manager can end the negativity is by turning around their current slump.

The Magpies are the visitors to the Britannia Stadium on Monday night and are without a win after five matches, with only Burnley below them in the Barclays Premier League table.

A lot of people don't know the reason why certain things have occurred or why there hasn't been a good performance.

There are always other things people outside the immediate group don't know about and you know yourself you can't go out and say, 'well, these are the reasons'.

So you have to protect yourself, your position and your club sometimes from situations and sometimes that's to the detriment of yourself.

It's not easy because there is more focus on you as a club and you, as the figurehead in terms of football. It goes with the territory and you have to deal with it.

The focus on big clubs is always there and the only way you can deal with it, to take that focus off you as a manager, is by winning football matches and if you don't there is a negative focus

– Stoke boss Mark Hughes.


Pardew challenges Armstrong to be next Ox

Armstrong is highly thought of at Newcastle. Credit: PA

Alan Pardew has challenged Newcastle teenager Adam Armstrong to live up to the same level of rich promise that carried Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to England stardom.

Newcastle boss Pardew believes highly-rated 17-year-old forward Armstrong has similar pedigree to the best young players he has blooded in his managerial career.

He's a player that excites us as a football club, I know England think highly of him.

I've given debuts to a few good 17-year-olds, Noble, Shelvey, Oxlade-Chamberlain in terms of potential.

Obviously those guys have fulfilled that and that's what he's got to do now.

He showed a few moments that whetted the appetite, and he's got to move on from this.

– Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.
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