Pardew: I must convince fans
Alan Pardew acknowledged he faces a difficult task winning over the Newcastle United fans as he was unveiled as manager this afternoon.
Pardew has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with the Premier League team, following the departure of Chris Hughton earlier in the week. Hughton left the Magpies 12th in the table and Pardew told a press conference, televised by Sky Sports News: "I'm privileged to be sitting here and looking forward to a tough job.
"But it's difficult because it's fairly obvious the players and fans had tremendous respect for Chris and the fact he's gone has caused something of a stir." Pardew continued: "The problem I'm going to have initially is the players - I need to get my message across quickly and with clarity so as not to get any resentment at a time when they are doing reasonably well.
"The battles I need to win are on the pitch. I understood what was going to happen if I took the job and that's a daunting prospect but to be manager is something I couldn't turn down."
On the length of the deal, the 49-year-old added: "I wanted to be tough on the length of contract and give myself as much stability at a club that hasn't had much stability with managers. Managers have come and gone here. It doesn't bode well so I'm trying to say I will work as hard as I possibly can here to get a situation where I can bring some longevity to the job.
"I represent the fans. I'm an employee of the club but I'll be knocking on the door trying to get the maximum funds I can to make the club the best it can be. I've never had a problem with that in the past. In the past I have convinced owners to have faith and trust in me to invest. Obviously I've got to gain that.
"I think I've got a good record in the Premier League but I'm not going to compare myself to what Chris has done - because he's done a super job. But I'm a competent manager, I give fans information and don't withhold anything. I like to think the players will grow to respect me and what I do. I've never really had a problem with playing staff and I hope that continues here."
The former Reading, West Ham United, Charlton Athletic and Southampton manager acknowledges keeping Newcastle in the top flight is his goal. He said: "The brief for me would be to consolidate and stay in the division - but there's an opportunity this year...the Premier League is so close. We're in a great position for a team that's just been promoted but we've got to kick on."
Pardew admitted: "I've had a lot of texts from managers saying 'you must be mad going in there' but it's a massive club, one of the top five in the country I'd suggest. I'd never be able to live with myself if I didn't take that on."
On the squad he has inherited, Pardew continued: "I can't put my finger on where there's a problem in the team or a weak link in the squad. I'll be talking about that with Simon Stone and Peter Beardsley. But my most immediate concern for any manager is the next game. My immediate focus is that game on Saturday night [at home to Liverpool] and I'm going to maximise my time to prepare the team.
"Our home form needs to improve, we don't need another down day on Saturday. That's an area we have to look to and make sure we put teams under continuous pressure. My own theory about football is that some of the most successful sides create players from within. So I'll be making sure underneath the first team there is a good solid base of young players coming through.
"In my career I've been creative with transfers. I got Yossi Benayoun for small money and took players out of the Championship who did brilliantly for me at West Ham." On his backroom team, Pardew explained: "I'm going to try to bring in a coaching team I feel will work well with me and this set of players - but in the short-term I'm going to take Steve Stone and Peter Beardsley for the Liverpool game.
"They have obviously been close to what Chris has been doing. I don't want to disrupt things massively and will keep it much the same for this game and next week will look to get staff secured and start putting into place what I feel can act as a team." He added: "My message is there is a team to be proud of. I can understand the frustration of losing Chris. I'm very much aware the only faith I'm going to gain is by keeping this club in the Premier League, where it belongs."