Belfast Telegraph

Pardew gears up for Magpies repeat

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has already set his sights on matching last season's stunning achievements - but first only has eyes for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

In his first full campaign in charge, Pardew led the Magpies to a superb fifth place in the Barclays Premier League, missing out on a spot in next season's Champions League by just four points.

Pardew said: "I wasn't too disappointed at missing out on the Champions League. We would have been more heartbroken if we had finished fourth, but missed out to Chelsea after they won the Champions League. That would have been tough to take, as I'm sure Tottenham felt, but we're really pleased to be in Europe, absolutely delighted."

It was enough for Pardew to pick up the LMA Manager of the Year award, and Europe still beckons for United as they will be in the Europa League. But the trick will be trying to repeat United's feat domestically after pushing Spurs to the wire for fourth and finishing above Chelsea.

Pardew said: "For next season it's important we set realistic goals, and we'll have to look at what team we start with. If all the players come through the European Championships and everybody is fit and well, then we'll go for a high finish."

Crucial for Pardew over the next few months will be strengthening his squad, although those plans are on hold for this weekend while he is a guest of the Marussia F1 team, whose sporting director Graeme Lowdon is a die-hard Magpies fan.

"This is a nice break with a couple of my staff just to chill out," said Pardew. "Then I'll take my family away for a couple of weeks, and then I'll start gearing up for the new season. Pre-season is all sorted, so we're just looking forward to what we hope will be a successful transfer window, with one or two in and taking the team forward.

"I'm looking forward to the Euros, and of course I'll take a bit of that in. But I'm more looking forward to tomorrow's race. Marussia have to finish above Caterham, so I'm putting the pressure on."

Only recently Chelsea and Sauber announced a sponsorship tie-up, with the latter's cars now sporting the former's crest. Pardew believes lessons can be learned between the two sports, despite the startling differences.

Pardew added: "I'm taking in Marussia's set-up, seeing if there is anything in there for me. How they monitor the performance of the car is how we monitor the performance of the team. Of course, the sports are completely different, but there are a lot of parallels, so it's nice to share some ideas."


From Belfast Telegraph