Newcastle appoint Pardew as manager
Former West Ham coach Alan Pardew was yesterday appointed the new manager of Newcastle United, the Premier League club announced.
Pardew succeeds Chris Hughton, who was dismissed on Monday in the wake of last weekend’s 3-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion, which left the Magpies four points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley gave Pardew a five-and-a-half-year contract, an indication he wanted the sixth manager at St James’ Park since he took charge in 2007 to stay for the long haul.
It also appears to signal that Ashley, who tried and failed to sell Newcastle, was preparing to remain in control of the north-east club.
Pardew’s first match in charge is a home fixture against Liverpool tomorrow.
The 49-year-old was the bookmakers’ – if not the fans’ – favourite to take over the St James’ hotseat from Hughton, 51, who was axed by Ashley despite having led Newcastle to promotion from the second-tier Championship last season.
As well as West Ham, whom he took to the 2006 FA Cup final, Pardew has also been in charge of Reading, Charlton and Southampton, who sacked him in August.
Newcastle are currently 12th in the table and Pardew, speaking at a news conference broadcast by Sky Sports, admitted he had a hard act to follow.
“I’m privileged to be sitting here and looking forward to a tough job,” Pardew said.
“But it’s difficult because it’s fairly obvious the players and fans had tremendous respect for Chris and the fact he’s gone has caused something of a stir.
“I’m not going to compare myself to what Chris has done, because he’s done a super job.”
As for winning over the dressing room, Pardew said: “The problem I’m going to have initially is the players – I need to get my message across quickly and with clarity so as not to get any resentment at a time when they are doing reasonably well.
“I understood what was going to happen if I took the job and that’s a daunting prospect but to be manager is something I couldn’t turn down.”
Pardew said he was well aware of Newcastle’s recent history, hence his desire to get as long a contract as possible.
“I wanted to be tough on the length of contract and give myself as much stability at a club that hasn’t had much stability with managers.
“Managers have come and gone here. It doesn’t bode well so I’m trying to say I will work as hard as I possibly can here to get a situation where I can bring some longevity to the job.”
Ashley called a halt to major spending on players 18 months ago but Pardew said: “I’ll be knocking on the door trying to get the maximum funds I can to make the club the best it can be.
“We’re in a great position for a team that’s just been promoted but we’ve got to kick on.”