Southampton - Newcastle's under-pressure manager Alan Pardew avoided a grilling from the media as he skipped the post-match press conference following a woeful 4-0 defeat at Southampton on Saturday.
Pardew has already endured heavy criticism from Newcastle fans after a poor start to the Premier League season and he was clearly uncomfortable at the prospect of a lengthy inquest into a loss that left his team bottom of the table with two points from their first four matches.
A recent poll showed 85 percent of supporters did not want Pardew to stay as Newcastle manager and they again made clear their unhappiness with the 53-year-old throughout the thrashing at St Mary's.
Angry chants punctuated the match, while a 'Pardew out' banner was held up in the away end and one fan even encroached on the pitch at full-time to vent his frustrations.
Perhaps wary of the scrutiny he would come under, former Southampton manager Pardew did not attend the scheduled press conference - nor did any of his staff - and only spoke to the broadcast media.
Asked if the fans' criticism was unfair, he told Sky Sports: "They're fair because you can't get beaten 4-0 as Newcastle manager. I've had it a few times and at this club it is tough to take.
"It is not easy to digest and not easy for the players either to play under those circumstances, so we have to be strong and try and tough it out this week and come back next week.
"We just have to put ourselves on the line, really, and be brave. Certainly, today, for us we have a bit more quality than we showed for sure and we need to get that on the pitch."