NEWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew has hailed his League Managers Association (LMA) Manager of the Year award as the highlight of his managerial career so far.
Pardew picked up the gong on Monday night and was also named Barclays Manager of the Season.
“Coming from my fellow managers, this really is as good as it gets and has to be the highlight of my managerial career so far,” he said.
“This award is not just for me though. Everything we have achieved at Newcastle United this season has been achieved as a result of an incredible team effort.
“The board, my coaching staff, backroom team, players and our magnificent supporters - they all play a crucial role and I thank every one of them.”
And Pardew’s is hoping to stay at United for a long time – after taking the club and its fans to his heart.
Pardew’s side ended the season fifth in the Premier League ahead of big-spending Chelsea and Liverpool.
He arrived at St James’s Park in difficult circumstances after the dismissal of the popular Chris Hughton in December 2010.
However, Pardew had won over most fans by the end of his first campaign, and the 50-year-old has since built on the foundations laid by Hughton, who guided the club out of the Championship.
The challenge for Pardew – who is proud of the “respect” he has earned - is to now build on this season’s achievements.
“I love working here, and love the fans,” Pardew said. “They’ve been great for me - they give me great respect and that’s all I want.
“I don’t want anything else, not undying love, I just want respect. I do a tough job and I do it to the best of my ability.”
Pardew will now recharge his batteries ahead of a demanding new season, with the club back in European football.
“It’s difficult, and I’m looking forward to a rest,” he added. “It’s demanding, but I love it.”
Newcastle were beaten 3-1 on Sunday by Everton, whose manager David Moyes has been at Goodison Park for a decade.
And that kind of longevity and stability appeals to Pardew.
“There’s a great trust between David and his chairman (Bill Kenwright),” said Pardew.
“That’s very important. Their chairman speaks more highly of David Moyes than anybody in the league.
“I think as a manager that’s a great feeling to have. The relationship I have here with my board is strong. If I can strengthen that, I will. It’s the most important relationship at any football club, trust me.”