Newcastle have confirmed the appointment of Alan Pardew as the club’s new manager on a five-and-a-half-year deal.
Pardew had emerged as the favourite for the St James’ Park vacancy after owner Mike Ashley’s decided to sack Chris Hughton on Monday afternoon.
“I am honoured and privileged to have been given this opportunity at one of the truly great clubs in English football,” said the 49-year-old.
“I understand what this club means to its supporters,” Pardew added on Thursday.
“Throughout the football world people recognise that this is a unique club in many ways, with supporters who are second to none in their loyalty, passion and devotion for the team.
“I’m not a Geordie of course, but I’m a football person with a love of the game and I can assure you I bring great drive, desire and commitment to the job.
“Chris Hughton did a great job last season, guiding the club back to the Premier League, and he continued that good work this season. It is my aim to build on that now and take this club forward.
“I have always managed teams that have played attacking positive football, something I know the supporters here appreciate.
“At the same time I intend to focus on developing exciting young players through the club’s excellent Academy and development squad, and I know the board here at St James’ Park are very committed to that too.”
Must be mad
The 49-year-old, who has previously managed Southampton, Charlton, West Ham and Reading, was officially unveiled at a press conference in Newcastle this afternoon.
“I’ve had a lot of texts from managers saying ‘you must be mad going there’,” said Pardew.
“But it’s one of the top five clubs in England. It’s a daunting prospect but something I couldn’t turn down.”
Pardew admitted that he will have to work hard to replace the popular Hughton in the minds of supporters and the players
“The problem I’m going to have initially is the players,” he said.
“I need to get my message across quickly and with clarity so as not to get any resentment at a time when they are doing reasonably well.
“The battles I need to win are on the pitch. I understood what was going to happen if I took the job.”
Pardew signed a five-and-a-half year contract on Thursday.
“I wanted to be tough on the length of contract and give myself as much stability at a club that hasn’t had much stability with managers,” added Pardew.
“Managers have come and gone here. It doesn’t bode well so I’m trying to say I will work as hard as I possibly can here to get a situation where I can bring some longevity to the job.
“I represent the fans. I’m an employee of the club, but I’ll be knocking on the door trying to get the maximum funds I can to make the club the best it can be.