Newcastle boss thanks Mike Ashley for his ‘constructive’ talks

BACKING ... Pardew and Ashley.
BACKING ... Pardew and Ashley.

ALAN Pardew’s thanked Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley for standing by him – as he prepares to celebrate his four-year anniversary at the club.

Ashley resisted calls from fans for Pardew to be sacked early in the season after a poor start to the campaign.

The 53-year-old – handed an eight-year contract in 2012 by Ashley – is now the fourth-longest serving manager in England.

Chris Hughton, Pardew’s popular predecessor, was controversially sacked four years ago today.

Pardew, named Newcastle manager on December 9, 2010, was a surprise appointment, and he admits he has had some “difficult days” at the club.

Pardew said: “It’s credit to the owner, and also credit to me because I’ve had to dig in a few times.

“Sometimes his flag is up the pole, and sometimes it’s mine.

“But I think we both knew that when we signed that long contract, that there were going to be difficult days as well as good days for us both.”

Pardew, speaking ahead of this afternoon’s Premier League home game against Chelsea, says he has a “solid” relationship with billionaire Ashley.

“It’s very important to have a solid relationship with your chairman or owner, and I’ve always had that with Mike,” said Pardew.

“At all football clubs, the link between the chairman and manager is very important, and sometimes it can lost in the wash a little bit.

“Chief executives can get involved, and the relationship can get distant.

“Me and Mike don’t really have too much communication, but when we do, it’s really constructive.

“We’ve never had a destructive conversation since I’ve been here. I think that’s very helpful, because at other clubs I have had that.”