Alan Pardew last night admitted he had “not been good enough” this season but hopes tomorrow’s visit to Anfield is not his last match in charge of Newcastle United.
In an honest assessment of the campaign, ahead of the final game at Liverpool, the Newcastle manager conceded standards have dropped below an acceptable level in 2014.
However, he promised to return after the break stronger within himself and as always determined to carry on the job into a fourth full season at St James’ Park.
Pardew said: “It’s contrasting for me because the first half I felt we played not far from our top level, for most of that.
“In the second half we haven’t been good enough, I haven’t been good enough, and the results have followed.
“It’s that second half of the season we need to focus on to make sure we put ourselves in a stronger position.”
Pardew then went on to clarify where he had failed in terms of his own performance. He added: “I’ve let myself down on the touchline, for sure.
“So that area I have looked to improve and I think I have made some strides with that.
“I couldn’t really show it against Cardiff because there were other problems.
“I think I’ve made some calls this year where I could have been a bit more positive tactically.
“That might have come from my situation sitting up in the stands, I don’t know. I feel a lot more comfortable in this last two weeks being back on the sideline, an environment where I am a little bit happier.
“I know it was difficult in terms of the fans on Sunday but it was still a lot easier for me to manage in that position.”
Pardew is due to meet with Mike Ashley next week to review a campaign of incredible contrasting emotions.
Asked whether his boss has offered any assurances about his future, Pardew added: “No, but I haven’t even looked for them.
“At the moment, I really need to just focus on the team. I did that for the Cardiff game and that worked out well for us.
“I’d like to think we’ll be well set for Liverpool. We’ve worked hard this week.
“Everything else needs to be looked at after recruitment, why the second half of the season wasn’t so good, and we have to face those problems. They are problems we can’t get away from.
“I always enjoy meeting the owner and the board because I think it is a time for reflection and a time to be honest.
“I think anybody who knows myself and knows Mike knows we speak our minds.
“It’s very important to talk about the season.
“In the first half we were one of the best in the Premier League, there no doubt about that.
“In the second half, we weren’t and it wasn’t good enough for this club. We need to face that and find a solution.
“I will be as honest as I can about what we can do to improve that.
“I’m sure there will be opinions from Mike about what I can do and that’s how it should be.
“Hopefully, we will find the right solution and have a season like we had two years ago with a top-five finish.”
When asked directly whether Liverpool would be his last game, Pardew said: “I hope not.
“As a Premier League manager, especially on the run I have been on, you can’t be 100 per cent confident but I know one thing I am confident on is the team have worked well this week.
“They want to try and end the season on a high and give real integrity to the league.”
Papiss Cisse is out for four months after undergoing an operation on his knee.
Pardew added: “We are so disappointed for him. He’s not had the greatest of seasons, so it’s a real blow for him.”
Pardew dismissed reports in France Christophe Galtier, head coach of Saint Etienne, had been approached to replace him.
He said: “I don’t know who he would have spoken to, but there are only one or two people who matter here and I don’t think they have spoken to him.”