Allardyce fearful of Newcastle fans backlash

Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce admits he fears for his players if they fail to stand up against Arsenal on Wednesday night.

"I hope playing at home won't become a problem," said the United manager. "I pray and hope it doesn't affect the players.

"My job is to say to the players: ‘Forget about it, throw it away.' Players should not linger on bad results.

"You can't go out there fearing what the fans are going to do, because you'll get the same sort of performance as against Liverpool."

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But convincing his team to block out the prospect of being booed is both a new and daunting challenge for a man who was never less than a hero during his time in charge at Bolton.

"The difficulty is it's you, it's aimed at you. You have seen others get it, but it's your turn now," added Allardyce. "While you know it may be coming, you still can't grasp how big it is.

"I never had anything like it at Bolton. There was never 52,000 at Bolton."

With Arsenal arriving in the North East with much of their old swagger restored, few expect a Newcastle victory on Wednesday.

But a capitulation would prompt an even more furious response than the Liverpool defeat brought from natives losing patience with their new manager.

"I'm not hiding from the fact we deserved it (being booed against Liverpool) but it was a bit volatile," admitted Allardyce.

"It was made worse by the fact it was two games on the trot, but I can handle it."

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