Alan Pardew fears that Newcastle United are destined for a season-long battle against relegation.
Crystal Palace hammered Steve McClaren’s beleaguered side 5-1 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
But with the crowd, and the way it is up there, they can reverse that quickly.
And the result left the club second-bottom of the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s home game against Liverpool.
Palace manager Pardew – who left St James’s Park at the turn of the year with Newcastle in the top half of the table – feels McClaren’s side can “quickly reverse” their direction with the help of the club’s fans.
But he still thinks the club will be looking over its shoulder for much of the season.
“In terms of where the season is going, it looks like they’re going to have to really fight for the rest of the season,” said Pardew.
“They’ve found themselves with lots of points to make up now.
“But with the crowd, and the way it is up there, they can reverse that quickly. A couple of wins can reverse the format, and that’s what they’ve got to do.”
Pardew found himself embattled in the latter part of his career at United.
And the 54-year-old – whose are 12 points ahead of Newcastle – feels the club must keep faith with summer appointment McClaren.
“I think it’s important that the group (at Newcastle) stays strong,” he said.
“Sometimes, I found myself in a position where you need everybody to pull for you, and that’s where they are now.
“Steve understands that as a manager. All the staff and all the players now really have to stick tight, put their kind of barriers up and get themselves a win – and I hope they win (against Liverpool).”
Asked if he had any sympathy for McClaren, Pardew added: “No I don’t.
“I’ve been in Steve’s position, and it’s a tough, tough role. But he’s tough enough to be able to deal with it.
“And for them, it’s just about what we did on Monday ... try to bounce back for next week – that’s all you can focus on.”