Alan Pardew held “crisis talks” with his players on the eve of last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with West Ham, leaving them under no illusions whatsoever about the imminent threat of relegation.
Having gone on a 13 game winless run prior to our Upton Park visit, it should probably come as no surprise to hear that Pardew felt compelled to deliver a serious reality check to the playing squad in the build-up to the tie. Whilst we weren’t able to get that elusive first league win of 2016, there were still some genuine positives to take from our general performance, which could well have been a byproduct of their collective dressing down.
Coming back from 2-1 down to secure a point thanks to Dwight Gayle’s 75th minute strike will hopefully put a spring on their collective steps ahead of a huge game at home to Norwich this weekend, as we bid to put serious breathing room between ourselves and the bottom three.
Having heard Alan Pardew do nothing but protect his players publicly throughout this winless run, it was refreshing to read the details of what sounded like a brutal and blunt team meeting on Friday evening, with the gaffer seemingly desperate to drill home the gravity of the scenario we now find ourselves in as a football club.
Have we just turned a corner? Let’s hope so.