ALAN Pardew is adamant staying in the Premier League was an achievement in itself for Newcastle United – despite pre-season hopes of a top-four spot.
Pardew’s aim last summer was to again challenge for a Champions League place after last year’s fifth-placed finish.
But the club started the campaign with a squad ill-equipped for the demands of the Europa League.
After Pardew’s squad was decimated by a series of injuries, Newcastle were left battling relegation.
The club finally secured its Premier League status with a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Sunday.
It is understood that Pardew – who has come under increasing criticism from supporters in recent weeks – has been given assurances that his job is safe, though there will be a post-season inquest into what has been a dreadful domestic season.
“Our season has been difficult, but we’ve come through it,” Pardew told SportMail.
“And I don’t care what anybody says, getting over the line with some of the misfortune we’ve had is an achievement.
“We’ve had three cruciate injuries (Ryan Taylor twice and Haris Vuckic) – no other club has had that.
“We missed key players at QPR – (Moussa) Sissoko, Shola Ameobi, Tim Krul and Davide Santon.
“All year we’ve had that, but we still got over the line. That’s the main thing.”
United’s end their season on Sunday with a home game against Arsenal, and Pardew’s just relieved the club’s fans will head to the game safe in the knowledge they will be watching Premier League football next season.
The club could even end the season in 10th place if they beat Arsene Wenger’s side, who face Sunderland’s relegation rivals Wigan Athletic at the Emirates Stadium tonight.
“Our fans can turn up and enjoy it,” he said. “I hope they come in fancy dress and enjoy it.
“Regardless of the score, thank God we’re here next year in the greatest league in the world.”