By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew has asked the Toon Army to stay with his side and help lift them out of their present rut after slipping to a third straight league defeat at Southampton on Sunday.
Before kick-off, the Saints were second bottom of the Barclays Premier League table but were deserved winners at St. Mary's with Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez on target. That followed consecutive home losses to West Ham and Swansea and left the Magpies in 14th position - a far cry from last season's fifth-place finish.
Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Gabriel Obertan, Haris Vuckic, Xisco and Adam Campbell are also on the treatment table while Jonas Gutierrez and James Perch only returned from lay-offs at the weekend.
And Pardew told nufcTV: "It's hard at the minute for us.
"The intensity of the home performance was causing us problems. We were trying to be positive and trying to put some confidence in the group but the first goal hurt us and we deserved to get beat today. We've got to hold our hands up and say we deserved it."
Despite trailing at half-time, United started the second half on top and had a great opportunity to equalise when Vurnon Anita went through only for Paulo Gazzaniga to make a big save, and the keeper made an even better stop to deny Davide Santon in the second period.
"I thought both goals were avoidable but you could look at any goal and say that," Pardew said. "We had a great chance at 1-0 and we really need little lifts like that at the minute, this team.
"I think our fans are going to need to stay with us now. We're open to criticism but we need our fans to be with us because we've not got a lot of players to choose from.
"It's not like we can make four or five changes. This is our team and we're going to have to try and fix them and get them ready for Wednesday.
"It's going to be very much about riding this period out and staying together as a group - and with our fans as well.
"Our fans travelled a long bloody way today to see that and they'll be disappointed. We've got to give them a better showing on Wednesday."