Alan Pardew seems to genuinely respect Chris Hughton, because of his efforts for Newcastle United over the last 16 months, and has also said he admires the man because he is such a gentleman.
Alan Pardew – must get the players behind him
Of course when you look at Chris Hughton’s record and then note the way the Londoner conducts himself all the time, through thick and thin, it’s hard for anybody to come up with any other conclusion.
Chris has now become a folk hero on Tyneside.
But it seems that Alan is also not daft, and he has told captain Kevin Nolan the very last thing he wants to do is to damage the team spirit which has been so strong at Newcastle since Chris took over 16 months ago.
Alan could do nothing better than to take Kevin into his confidence, as Kevin is not only a terrific player, but he has a huge influence in the dressing room, and we have to think that he’ll have a good career as a manager in the years ahead, although he has lots of years playing in front of him.
It’s the same with Joey Barton, but we have to hope this terrible week has not sent Joey back to drink, because we all know how combustible he can become after a drink or two – but Joey is also another very important player right now.
Today will be a huge test of Pardew’s management skills and particularly his man-management expertise, which friends at clubs he has managed tell us are very good – and he tends to be a rather straight forward guy, but he does have an ego of course, unlike Hughton.
This is what Alan said today:
“My most immediate task is the dressing room,” “I’ve only spoken to Kevin Nolan briefly on the phone, but it’s obvious the players had a lot of affection for Chris. He was well liked.”“I can’t think of a player in the group I’ve managed so I’m going to be something of a mystery to them.”
“I have to make sure the players understand I’m a fair manager. It’s a tough challenge but I need to make sure there isn’t a massive impact on the team. Obviously this week there has been, and that is not good for any group of players.”
“It’s important I bring some stability back to the dressing room and calm their fears.” “It is obvious the players and the fans had a great amount of respect for Chris Hughton and the fact he has gone has caused a stir,” he said.
“People are upset about it and the problem I’ve got initially is with the players and making sure I get my message across with clarity and quickly. I hope they don’t carry any resentment towards me.”
Those are good words from the manager and Pardew did a good job yesterday in laying out what Mike Ashley’s vision is for the club.
And it’s very much bringing young players through the club, and we’re sure players like Nile Ranger, Haris Vuckic, Tamas Kadar, Shane Ferguson and youngsters like that, loved what Alan said about how important youth is to the club.
And it will be part of Alan’s job to help bring these players through so his coaching skills will be very important.
Of course he will be completely judged by the first team results and he has no room for error – because if the club starts sliding down the league table he will be replaced- it’s as simple as that.
The very last thing Newcastle United need is another relegation season, and a change of manager at this stage of the season is hardly a positive thing to reach that goal, especially since the team has done so well.
But it also seems like Pardew has no doubts at all about what is being asked of him.
We wish him luck today, and he will need it, but we also hope the senior players will be very professional and we also know very well people are still upset about the goings on of this terrible week.
But whether the players like it or not they are employees of the club, and it’s their job to get ready for the Liverpool game.
The fans are not employed by the club and basically can do what they like, and it looks like that’s exactly what they plan to do.