Charlton 1 Barnsley 3

The Times, 2/11/08

AS HE stood in the teeming rain at the final whistle after watching his team capitulate at home to an ordinary Barnsley side, Alan Pardew’s job prospects appeared as bleak as the south London weather.

The Charlton faithful are a tolerant lot but their patience finally snapped as the Addicks slipped into the relegation zone and, alarmingly, showed little appetite for the fight.

The home side were three goals down after 39 minutes, which prompted the first cries of “Pardew out”, and the players were booed off at half-time.

Although captain Mark Hudson scored a late consolation goal, the fans’ reaction was worse at full-time, with dozens gathering outside the directors’ entrance to shout “we want Pardew out” and “we want our Charlton back”.

Without a win in five games, Pardew’s job is hanging by a thread. The former West Ham manager has two years left on the deal he signed in December 2006. The board may be reluctant to terminate one of the Championship’s most lucrative managerial contracts with the club £20m in debt and with Dubai-based Zabeel Investments withdrawing from its planned takeover of the club, though after this lacklustre display they may feel they have to act.

Pardew tinkered with his side despite a notable draw at Ipswich in midweek but his blueprint was soon in tatters.

Jonathan Macken, once a £5m buy for Manchester City, gobbled up two predator’s goals in the opening 17 minutes as the home defence failed to deal with set-pieces.

The much-travelled Darren Moore added a third when he beat two Charlton defenders to an Iain Hume cross, and the contest was all but over by the time Hudson pulled one back for the home side.

“The crowd were frustrated and I’m going to have to lean on some of the more experienced players to get us out of this situation,” said Pardew. “You can’t crawl under a stone and hide, you have to stand and face it.”
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