The ex-Manchester United winger's form has dipped after a decent start, with some sections of the Toon Army getting on his back.
Pards added: "He hasn't been as good as he was before he picked up an injury. But he was good in the first half against Swansea on Saturday and created a few dangerous moments for us.
"Because he is so quick the crowd think he can just beat the full-back on the outside all the time but he can't do that, as he'd be too one-dimensional.
"The next step for him is to actually look like he's going to score but he's only 22 and is still learning.
"Our fans need to be patient, as do I, because we all know what he can do."