It seems like the very first thing new manager Alan Pardew wants to do at Newcastle is to get the respect of the dressing room, keep the team spirit high, and then press on and try to climb up the league table.
Alan Pardew – down to earth and realistic
Alan has come over as a fair man, and he seems to have won over most of the lads yesterday with the things he told them in the team meeting.
This is what Alan said today:
“My immediate concern is to consolidate our place in the Premier League, but there is an opportunity here, with such an open Premier League,”
“With the spirit and unity here, we could surprise ourselves and finish pretty high.”
“We’re 12th now and that’s a great position for a team which has only just been promoted.” “We have to kick on.”
There was some disturbing news in the Journal this morning, that both Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton are doubts for tonight’s game, with ankle and groin problems respectively.
That would definitely be a big blow for Newcastle today if they don’t play, because both were badly missed last week at West Brom.
We were all expecting Joey to be back last week, after serving his three match ban, and when he wasn’t in the team that was a blow, and things of got worse and worse as the game at West Brom went on – and it turned out ot be the last game for manager Chris Hughton.
It’s particularly important that Kevin lines up at the start, although of course if the two lads are injured they shouldn’t play – otherwise they could be out a lot longer than they should be.
Pardew seems to have no illusions that he has entered the den of lions when he took the Newcastle job, as he continued:
“It’s a tough challenge,” “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.”“I’ve got to make sure the information I give them is true.”
“You can suffer bad defeats, but be honest about the reasons I try and put it right.”
“I hope to bring a fairness to my management.” “It’s important I bring some stability back to the dressing room and calm their fears.”
We have been surprised these last last couple of days just how well Alan has come across – he seems a normal guy who is just over the moon at being manager of the Newcastle club.
That was similar to Chris Hughton when he took over, and it seems to us that being the manager inspired Chris to things that probably surprised him too.
Alan Pardew hasn’t had too good a career in football management so far, but Chris hadn’t had any as a manager when he got the Newcastle job, and he did better than any of us ever thought possible.
Maybe that will happen to Alan too, who has promised to work his socks off to be a successful manager on Tyneside.