ALAN Pardew has been out of the headlines this week – but Newcastle United’s manager doesn’t believe he will be out of the spotlight for long.
The club claimed its first Premier League win of the season last weekend – on the same day Sunderland were beaten 8-0.
And the focus has been on Wearside this week as Pardew has quietly worked with his players on Tyneside ahead of tomorrow’s game against Tottenham Hotsput at White Hart Lane.
But Newcastle remained in the relegation zone after their 1-0 win over Leicester City – and Pardew knows only a run of results will ultimately ease the pressure on him.
“The Premier League is such that you are never far away as proved last week with Sunderland, because the spotlight was not really on them and that can happen,” said Pardew. “The most important thing for us is to win.”
Asked if Sunderland’s defeat at Southampton had taken the pressure off him, he added: “To be honest, it’s had no effect on us. We have to focus on what’s important to us.”
A United representative told this week’s Fans Forum that the club’s “minimum” target was a top-10 finish.
Pardew – whose side finished 10th last season – is looking to challenge for European football, but given the team’s poor start to the campaign, he isn’t looking beyond the next game.
“It is always difficult to challenge Champions League teams, but we try to do that,” said the 53-year-old. “Obviously, we’re a long way from that at the moment, and are thinking of nothing more than the next game.
“I know that is a cliche, but that’s where we are at the moment.”
Asked if he would fear for his job if the club finished in the bottom half of the table, Pardew added: “I think every Premier League manager fears for his job these days.
“You have to be on your guard, and you have to get results. At the moment, our results need to improve.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Taylor is in the squad for the Tottenham game.
The 30-year-old has made a full recovery after twice rupturing his cruciate ligament.
“That’s the story to come out of our training ground this week,” said Pardew.