Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has admitted he found it difficult to look fans in the eye in the depths of the club's poor start to the season
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Alan Pardew was greeted by sporadic boos as Newcastle fans found themselves torn between supporting their team against Hull and protesting against the manager.
The 53-year-old's presence in his technical area, as Saturday afternoon's Barclays Premier League clash began, drew some early derision from a section of the home support, but the bulk of the Toon Army concentrated on trying to roar on their team.
Indeed, the first chant of "You're getting sacked down in the morning" came from mischievous Hull fans on an afternoon when many of their opposite numbers targeted Newcastle owner Mike Ashley instead.
Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini has pleaded with fans planning to stage mass protests against manager Alan Pardew on Saturday to get behind the team instead.
– Fabricio Coloccini
It will not be an easy game because Hull are a good team. It is very important that you are right behind us and support the team and the players who are on the pitch.
You want to win every game, just like us, and we all want the best for this football club.
We are football fans too, so we understand that things can get frustrating. But please, support the team for 90 minutes inside the stadium. We need your support.
We have a lot of new players and a young squad. They need your backing, a push from you and a positive atmosphere to get the best out of them.
Hopefully, you can cheer us on to three points and that will give our season a real boost.
Hull boss Steve Bruce has labelled reports linking him with the Newcastle manager's job as "disrespectful" to current incumbent Alan Pardew.
The pressure cranked up a notch on the under-fire Magpies chief on Saturday as his team were humbled 4-0 by former club Southampton, prompting the 53-year-old to skip the post-match press conference at St Mary's.
– Steve Bruce speaking to FiveLive
It isn't nice - it's a horrible Sunday morning for him and I find it very, very disrespectful that I'm linked with somebody else's job when he's still in a job.
It's a hard enough job we've all got. We all know what it's like now in football management.
That part of the game will never change, but for me at the moment I'm just concentrating on the game against West Ham (on Monday night) and leaving all that aside.