Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Pardew: I'm staying

Alan Pardew has committed his future to Newcastle

Alan Pardew has insisted he will remain as Newcastle boss despite the turmoil currently engulfing the club.

The 51-year-old has re-affirmed his commitment to the Magpies a day after seeing Joe Kinnear installed above him as director of football and with managing director Derek Llambias having resigned from his post.

In the most brief of comments, Pardew told the Chronicle: "I'm staying - to take the club up the league."

Pardew's silence in the wake of Kinnear's appointment on Tuesday was interpreted as an indication of his disquiet at owner Mike Ashley's decision, although it appears he is at least ready to try to make it work.

However, Llambias' departure means further upheaval in the dynamics behind the scenes at St James' Park and it remains to be seen just how the pair and chief scout Graham Carr are able to handle the Irishman's presence in a supervisory role.

Pardew, of course, signed an eight-year contract in September last year, his reward for guiding the club into the Barclays Premier League's top five and back into Europe, although the terms of that deal do not preclude an early exit.

However, the top flight Manager of the Year's fortunes dipped alarmingly last season when a squad which had not been sufficiently strengthened during the summer, much to his disappointment, was exposed as it attempted to negotiate its way through a cluttered fixture schedule.

Ashley backed a belated January rebuilding programme as an unlikely fight against relegation ensued, but the Magpies limped over the finishing line to come home in 16th place, and that was simply not good enough for all concerned. Pardew's future was a matter of some speculation as a difficult campaign drew to a close, and even he admitted he could be relieved of his duties.

However, he emerged from an end-of-season debrief still in post and ready for a fresh assault on the Premier League. It was then that Ashley, with his innate sense of timing, hurled in the curve ball which has thrust the club into disarray once again by appointing Kinnear, who has already demonstrated his ability to resemble the most unstable of loose cannons.

Llambias' subsequent departure has added to the unfolding chaos, and only time will tell if Pardew and the highly rated Carr can forge a working partnership with Ashley's new right-hand man.

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