Pardew acknowledges pressure
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was given only one remit by owner Mike Ashley when he handed him his new eight-year contract: "Win every week."
The sportswear magnate stunned the world of football on Thursday when he tied up Pardew, who takes his club to former employers Reading on Saturday, and key coaches John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman until the end of the 2019-20 season.
"Regardless, there's always pressure when you are Newcastle manager. I am just privileged to be the manager, really, and proud to be the manager of this football club," Pardew said. "To be given an eight-year contract - it hasn't quite sunk in, if I am honest."
Pardew, whose aim is to use the length of the deal to put in place a structure to ensure sustained success for the Magpies, was delighted to have signed it and is now ready to set about the process of justifying Ashley's faith in he and his staff.
If the announcement raised eyebrows across the country, it prompted a similar reaction from Pardew when it was first mentioned to him.
He said: "When it was first suggested by Mike, eight years, I was a bit shocked myself. To try to foresee what's going to happen in the next eight years is difficult.
"On the other side of the coin, when I looked at my career so far, this is probably the best chance I have got of winning a trophy, and that's really what I want to do."
Pardew, of course, will have to continue to work within the business model which has made the club all but self-sufficient in recent seasons, and that means there will be no wild transfer spending or budget-busting pay packets.
However, that has brought them into line with UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations which Pardew believes may help to bridge the gap between the Barclays Premier League's haves and have-nots.
He said: "The playing field becomes a little bit more even than it is with Manchester City at the minute, who just have buying power way beyond our dreams."