ALAN Pardew says Newcastle United’s supporters will ultimately decide his future despite the eight-year contract handed to him by the St James’ Park hierarchy.
The United boss admitted he was “shocked” by the length of the unprecedented deals that he and his backroom staff were handed this week.
However, he immediately set himself the target of winning a major trophy by 2020.
But while he paid tribute to Mike Ashley for allowing him the freedom to build the “foundations” of success, Pardew is well aware that the eight-year deal does not make him completely immune to the pressures that other managers face.
The United boss feels the deal may buy him a bit more time than most, but admits that Newcastle’s fans will be the ones that decide whether he remains at a club he has grown to “love”.
Stability, he says, is the key.
“I do recall David Moyes having a very difficult year at Everton, maybe the third or fourth year in, and the board stuck with him and that’s proved to be massively beneficial for Everton,” Pardew said.
“I feel like I’m going to get that opportunity here. Ultimately, it’s the fans who will decide whether you’re their manager, not the board. I know that.
“But it might just be that one extra game, two games, when you get that massive result and the fans get back on your side and give you more benefit of the doubt, when that’s beginning to go out the window.
I’m genuinely proud to be manager of this football club – I can’t tell you how much. Since I signed about three or four days ago, I’ve had a kind of realisation of what a position I’m in in terms of being the manager.
“It’s a really proud moment for me. Now I’ve just got to do it justice.”
To Pardew, the only way that he could be construed as a “success” is if he ends Newcastle’s 57-year wait for a domestic trophy.
United were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Manchester United in midweek but still have a fight on three fronts this season.
After today’s clash with Reading they meet Bordeaux on Thursday before hosting the Red Devils again next Sunday – a week that throws into sharp context the challenges faced by Pardew with a small squad.
They will be missing Fabricio Coloccini, Tim Krul and Yohan Cabaye at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.
“When eight years was first suggested by Mike, I was quite shocked myself,” Pardew admits.
“To try and foresee what will happen in the next eight years is difficult.
“But the other side of the coin, when I looked at my career so far, this is probably the best chance I have of winning a trophy – and that is what I really want to do.
“Looking at it realistically, if I want to win a trophy, if I am going to win a trophy, what opportunities am I going to have as a manager? I look at this football club and in my opinion it is the best supported football club in the country.
“In my opinion it has a fan base and a home power that gives us and advantage. I think the Uefa Fair Play rules will swing it our way a bit whereas to a big degree it has been out of kilter in the last four or five years.
“So therefore I look at the model we have got and I think it is strong.
“Graham (Carr, chief scout) has a great record abroad. We have a great knowledge of the home market, great staff and really it is about now honing the team and improvement over the years.
“It is not just about big individuals, it is about the getting the team right.
“Look at Bilbao last year. I don’t know how many players you could name out of their team last year but they were one of the best teams in Europe
“That is what we want to become. A team that is powerful and regarded as really good.”