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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK
Alan Hansen's column
Alan Hansen
By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate and Newcastle counterpart Glenn Roeder
As Southgate will testify, a couple of results quickly eases the pressure and that is what Roeder will be praying for

Sunday's defeat by Tottenham increased the pressure on West Ham manager Alan Pardew - but he is not alone.

Newcastle's Glenn Roeder, Charlton's Iain Dowie and Stuart Pearce at Manchester City will all be feeling the strain following the games at the weekend.

You have to feel for these managers.

The situation at Newcastle and Charlton will come under more scrutiny this week, with the clubs meeting at St James' Park on Saturday.

It could be make-or-break time. A win for either club will immediately lift the doom and gloom. Defeat is potentially catastrophic.

Newcastle are struggling to score and they always look likely to concede - and that is clearly a horrible combination.

The fans vented their anger at chairman Freddy Shepherd after Sunday's defeat by Middlesbrough and you can understand their frustration.

The club have spent a lot of money on not getting it right.

It was inevitable they would miss Alan Shearer. He was not only a great player, he was a leader. He was a great centre-forward, who could alleviate pressure and nick you a goal.

But life goes on and it is time for other individuals at the club to take on the responsibility of leading the team out of the mire.

To do that, they will also need a bit of luck, something Charlton have been desperately short of this season.

I watched the Addicks' 2-1 defeat by Arsenal at The Valley and thought they were worthy of a point. They should have had a penalty and they missed a couple of great chances late on.

I sympathise with Iain Dowie, who is a good manager.

Dean Ashton's absence has been damaging for West Ham

It was always going to be a big task to fill Alan Curbishley's shoes but all he needs is a couple of good results.

Two wins at this stage of the season makes a massive difference, propelling you into mid-table.

Look at Gareth Southgate.

He was under immense pressure until recently but Middlesbrough beat Everton and Newcastle and all of a sudden, no-one is talking about him anymore.

His team have worked hard and they have been rewarded with the breaks.

West Ham's wonderful first season back in the Premiership was, in my mind, based on teamwork and spirit.

This season, they have brought in a couple of big-name players, who will be on more money than anyone else.

I cannot be 100% sure if it is the case at Upton Park but it must affect morale.

606: DEBATE
kjdoe0902
Dean Ashton's absence through injury has been just as damaging, though.

When fit, he was a pivotal player for West Ham, with everything in an attacking sense going through him.

Obviously, confidence at the club is low and perhaps the last thing they need is a potential Carling Cup banana skin at Chesterfield followed by Sunday's visit of Blackburn in the Premiership.

But, as Southgate will testify, a couple of results can quickly ease the pressure and that is what Pardew, Dowie, Roeder and Pearce will be praying for this week.

SEARCH FOR MORE:
Alan Hansen columns

SEE ALSO
Middlesbrough 1-0 Newcastle
22 Oct 06 |  Premiership
Tottenham 1-0 West Ham
19 Oct 06 |  Premiership
Charlton 0-0 Watford
21 Oct 06 |  Premiership
Wigan 4-0 Man City
21 Oct 06 |  Premiership


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