A Loic Remy double was enough to secure Newcastle a vital three points against Cardiff seemingly easing the pressure on their under-fire manager Alan Pardew.
However, despite a crucial three points in Wales the difficulty of the Magpies’ upcoming fixtures means that the former West Ham gaffer is still teetering on the edge.
The Toon Army face Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham, as well as a trip to take-on arch rivals Sunderland in their next five fixtures.
It is perfectly feasible that Pardew’s side fail to take anything from those matches. The difficulty of those games, paired with the looming figure of Joe Kinnear explains the 2/1 available on the 52-year-old to be the next manager out of the exit door.
The relief on Martin Jol’s face was there for all to see as Darren Bent kept a cool head to slide home against Stoke at Craven Cottage.
That victory was their first in six Premier League outings and first in eight on their own patch.
It is no surprise then that the locals are getting restless by the Thames and there was little to suggest that is likely to change in their showing against the Potters.
Mark Hughes’ side had the better of the game, having 56 per cent possession and spurning numerous chances in front of goal. Indeed on another day the Cottagers would have been staring at another defeat.
The next two league ties will be pivotal in Jol’s tenure, with trips to Crystal Palace and Southampton to follow the international break. Failure to take at least three points from these clashes is sure to see the shortening of the Evens about Jol being the next Premier League boss out the door.
Another manager under increasing pressure is Norwich’s Chris Hughton, who is 6/1 to be the next man handed his P45.
The Canaries boss saw his team lose their second successive league game at Carrow Road, as Chelsea ran out 3-1 victors, leaving the East Anglian club perching just above the relegation zone.
There is a feeling in Norfolk that seven points is a weak return for the £25m or so spent this summer and with Arsenal and Man City to come in their next three matches, Hughton will be feeling the heat.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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