ALAN Pardew says he’s “lucky” to have Mike Ashley as his boss at Newcastle United.
The club’s manager today gave his first Press conference of the new campaign, which kicks off on Sunday with a home game against Premier League champions Manchester City.
Pardew – who has seen United sign nine players this summer – praised owner Ashley for standing by him during a troubled second half of last season.
Newcastle’s once-promising season started to unravel at the midway point of the campaign.
But Ashley opted not to fire Pardew, who clashed with Hull City’s David Meyler in March.
Instead, the billionaire kept faith with him at the end of the season, and sanctioned a summer spending spree.
“When I signed the new contract, Mike always knew there would be ups and downs for both of us,” said Pardew.
“He stood by me and this feels like an up time for me. He’s armed me again. He’s stood by me.
“One thing I can always give him an honesty of where we are and he listens – that’s why so many players have entered the building. We needed them.
“It’s that kind of relationship you can only hope for as a Premier League manager, and I’m lucky enough to have it. I hope I can repay him this season.”
Pardew now feels he has a squad capable of lasting the distance in the league.
“In terms of players, we have now got a really strong group which makes my job easier,” said Pardew.
“There is some real quality offensively, which we didn’t have at the back end of last season.
“Looking forward to putting them on the pitch and bringing back a brand of football, that the fans like to see.
“We had a proper team here for four or five months.
“There are a few players out and normally that would be too big a blow against a team like Man City, but we’re able to cope and that shows the strength in depth we’ve got.
“We go in good spirits with a fit, strong team and hopefully we’ll give Man City a much better game than we did last season.”