Pardew told to 'win every week'
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."
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The sportswear magnate stunned the world of football 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.
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.
Asked what the owner's remit was, the 51-year-old replied: "Win every week.
"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.
"To be given an eight-year contract - it hasn't quite sunk in, if I am honest.
"But my focus, ever since I entered this game, was to win. I came pretty close at West Ham and I won what you might call a minor trophy at Southampton, but I want to win.
"I have won a couple of promotions, I want to win silverware."
If yesterday's 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.
"Sometimes I have put my own personal ambition in front of what's best, maybe, for the club I was at, but you get older and wiser.
"But I want to win a trophy and I think this club gives me a great opportunity to do that.
"We have a great team, great players, great staff - and I am glad they have got the same reward, which I thought was very important.
"It was no good just making sure that the manager was okay, everybody was looked after in terms of that length of time, and now we move on and try to secure that first trophy, which has been some time coming."
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."
There were many who were sceptical about Pardew's chances of remaining in post at the end of the five years of his initial contract, and an equal, if not larger number will not expect him still to be there in 2020.
However, he said: "I have entered contracts in the past and I haven't seen them out, so I can't say I have been totally loyal on that front.
"But as I say, you do get wiser and I would like to say I will see the contract out. In Mike's mind, it is, 'You are going to see it out, and you had better do well'.
"It would be great for the club if that was the case because that means I would have brought success of some type."
Pardew has established himself as a popular figure on Tyneside since arriving in difficult circumstances, but he is not expecting to receive a warm welcome in Berkshire tomorrow with some Reading fans still unhappy at the way he left their club for West Ham in 2003.
He said: "I am kind of the pantomime villain down there for leaving the way I did, but I have since that time more than made up with the owner, who gave me my start, so I have a lot to thank him for, John Madejski."