Some Newcastle fans have voiced their dismay over boss Alan Pardew's comment in the wake of the 2-1 win at QPR, that he did not care if they lost 4-0 to the Gunners at St James' Park on Sunday. However, the 51-year-old moved today to assure them he was joking and that nothing could be further from the truth.
Pardew told the club's official website: "I know people will have picked up on my comments about not caring about the result against Arsenal, which were, of course, a joke.
"It is definitely not the case that I would be happy for us to lose 4-0 against Arsenal on Sunday. I simply want our players and fans to be able to enjoy the game without looking over their shoulders.
"Even though we are now safe, we will be putting in the same effort that we would for any other Premier League game.
"We want to end the season on a positive, to finish in as high a position as possible and to give the fans something to cheer about on the final day of what has been a frustrating season.
"Arsenal will be doing everything they can to try and achieve a Champions League spot and we won't make it easy for them, make no mistake about that.
"This is a game everyone at this football club wants to win."