Newcastle United's newest goalscoring hero Loic Remy says he is “enjoying life” under Alan Pardew at St James’ Park, but will not be rushed into making a decision on his long-term future.
Remy has been an instant hit at Newcastle and bagged a crucial brace as the Magpies came out fighting at Cardiff to ease the pressure on Pardew. It was just the latest match-winning performance from a player whose team-mates have already compared him to Thierry Henry.
Remy’s next target is to beat his previous season’s best of 17 goals, which is an achievable aim if he continues his current run.
Unsurprisingly, his form has prompted questions about his long-term plans. United secured him on a season-long loan over the summer and while they have negotiated an option on the striker, much will depend on whether the player himself wants to remain in the North East.
He said: “I am really enjoying it. When I came here everyone was happy, the fans and the manager. I am a striker so I have to score goals for everyone. What happens next I do not know. I am just focused step by step.”
Asked directly about whether he wants to stay, the forward said: “For the moment the question is not in my head. We have time and I will go game by game. It is a good question, but right now I am not focused on that.”
Although Remy refused to categorically commit to United he was full of praise for under-pressure Pardew, stating his confidence that he can “progress” under the tutelage of the Newcastle boss.
He said: “He is very close to me, he speaks to me a lot when he feels I am not concentrating in training so for me he is a very good manager, and I think I can progress a lot with him.”
United are remaining just as cautious when confronted by questions about their intentions on Remy. They are stuck between the position of having put a provision in place to sign him while also wanting to stay onside with QPR, where Remy is contracted for another four years.
Pardew said: “I think he’s a player who is on our books at the moment and we’re pleased to have him, but at the moment he’s a QPR player. It was interesting to see Harry Redknapp’s comments saying he probably won’t be coming back. We’ll have to see what happens.”
Pardew admits to a measure of frustration that the original deal that Newcastle had in place for Remy in January fell through, although he is delighted to now be working with a player that the club had tracked for nearly six years.
Remy opted for QPR in the New Year after Tony Fernandes made a last-ditch bid to scupper Newcastle’s deal.
“I wish Remy had signed for us in January! I still remember the night clearly when we thought we’d done the deal for him,” he said.
“I had a nice glass of wine and we’d had a hearty handshake then the next day he wasn’t there. Sometimes in life you have to wait though – and if you wait long enough it comes around.
“We’re really, really glad to have him.
“He was really good on Saturday – not just his two goals but his workrate. Everything he did was competent.”
For Remy, the ultimate aim is to try and beat his previous goalscoring best of 17 in one season.
“I am ambitious so I want to do more. My record is 17 goals in one year so if I can do more that would be great,” he said.
“I am a striker, I know my quality.
“I try every week to score, I work hard in training in front of goal to have precision. It is good for me and the club and we are winning games.”
After Pardew steered Newcastle to their second away win of the season – matching the total number they managed last term – he paid tribute to Cheick Tiote.
The Ivorian was recalled against Everton and retained his place for the trip to Cardiff. Even without the dropped Hatem Ben Arfa the midfield functioned well enough to push Newcastle towards a crucial 2-1 victory.
The Newcastle boss (pictured below) said: “He was the one who got a grip in the first half and gave us our base for the victory.
“It’s great to see him back because he is a very important player.”