London - Under-fire Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew received support from the man being tipped as his possible replacement on Friday, with Hull City's Steve Bruce describing as ridiculous the flak flying in his direction.
Pardew's side are bottom of the Premier League with only two points from their opening four games and defeat at home to Hull on Saturday would add fuel to a fans' campaign to end the Londoner's near four-year reign in the north east.
One group of Magpies fans has organised the printing of 15,000 Sack Pardew.com posters to be handed out during the home clash with Bruce's Hull.
"We all understand it's a results based business but some of the nonsense that goes with it, I have to say is ridiculous," Bruce, a boyhood Newcastle fan who managed rivals Sunderland, said at a Friday news conference.
"It comes with the territory but you have to say in the North East it seems to quadruple: when there's a crisis, there's a crisis, and I suppose that comes from the huge support they have got."
Bruce is well aware of the dog-eat-dog world of Premier League management and any sympathy he has for Pardew will be on hold for 90 minutes at the weekend.
"It's a difficult, difficult place to manage," he said. "But we have to try and take advantage of that, of course we do.
"We have to be mercenary enough to try and do that. The other stuff is not enjoyable to watch from afar.
"Over the years he's done a decent job has Alan but I think that's the nature of the beast, especially in the North East, and I can say that because I'm from there."
On Thursday, Pardew, who was given an eight-year contract by owner Mike Ashley in 2012, described the atmosphere amongst Newcastle fans as 'mass hysteria'.
"It's gone to a level which makes it difficult for the players to perform in."