ALAN Pardew has been handed his budget for the coming transfer window, and the Newcastle United manager can now plan ahead confident of another season in the Premier League.
Two draws in a week, against Manchester United and Blackpool, have all but secured the Magpies’ top-flight status. Pardew’s bosses evidently think so, having started preparing for the summer.
“I think that’s us past the post, and that obviously makes it a little bit easier in terms of looking towards the future and hardening up some of the plans,” said Pardew.
“That process has been ongoing for a little while, but now we can step things up in certain areas. We’ve already started work on the training ground, and we have some undersoil heating going in that will make a huge difference to us. We might actually be able to train in December and January, which will be useful.
“We’re also actively pursuing players already because we don’t want to be left behind in the summer. I’ve had a meeting about budgets and I think we all know where we stand. I’m pleased with the talks.”
Pardew claimed in February he had been told the entire £35m received from Liverpool for Andy Carroll would be reinvested in the team, although not just in transfer fees. Strikers will be high on his shopping list, but Peter Løvenkrands served a reminder of his value with his sixth goal this season. “I keep telling Peter he needs to shoot more, and he’s shown with his goal exactly why he should,” said Pardew. “He’s so honest at times he looks to set other people up rather than taking a bit of a gamble himself.
“When he’s in the side, you know you can play four midfield players against a side playing a different system because of his work-rate.
“It was only because of the effort he put in against Manchester United that he got substituted. Even if new players come in, I know Peter will still be pushing for a place in the team. He’s a fantastic character and we’re very lucky to have him.”