Pardew awards Newcastle 'eight out of 10, must achieve better'

Newcastle's manager Alan Pardew has awarded the club a mark of eight out of 10 for their first season back in the Premier League.

Last year's Championship winners will end the campaign against fellow promoted side West Bromwich Albion at St James' Park on Sunday with both teams secure in mid-table and knowing that victory for either could result in a top-half finish. That would represent a major achievement for the clubs, both of whom changed managers in an attempt to strengthen their grip on Premier League status.

Newcastle ensured their continued presence in the top flight with a 2-1 victory over Birmingham on 7 May and collected a creditable point at Chelsea on Sunday, despite missing key midfielders Kevin Nolan and Cheick Tioté. A final victory this weekend would cap a more than satisfactory season for Pardew and his players, but the manager believes he, predecessor Chris Hughton and their players can already be proud of their efforts.

Asked yesterday what mark he would give the club, Pardew replied: "Including Chris's time as manager here, you would have to give it an eight. In terms of the expectations and the amount of finance that was spent in the summer, the fact that we lost Hatem [Ben Arfa] to a broken leg, that we sold Andy Carroll, yes, I would give it as high as that."

Hughton departed in December after a 3-1 defeat at West Bromwich capped a five-game run without a victory. At that point, Newcastle had won five, drawn four and lost seven of their 16 league games and collected 19 points from a possible 48. Pardew's record is marginally better – 26 points from 63 – but he has lost just seven of his 21 games, winning six and drawing eight.

"If you looked at our squad, you would have to say on paper, it didn't look the strongest for the results we have had, and that's a great thing," Pardew said. "But we need to carry that over into next year and, hopefully, be stronger."

Contract talks with the likes of Jose Enrique, Joey Barton and Nolan will form a significant part of the club's work this summer, when Pardew will hope to be allowed to invest the lion's share of the £35m they banked from Carroll's January move to Liverpool. They have already been linked with a lengthy list of targets at home and abroad, including the West Ham United striker Carlton Cole, although critics of Newcastle's owner, Mike Ashley, remain unconvinced that that kind of investment will be made.

However, Pardew is relishing the prospect of stamping his mark on the club. "I can only talk from my personal fulfilment as a football manager at a great club, and it has been fantastic on that front," he said. "People have been tremendous and the players and the squad and the staff here – I think we have pulled above our weight and long may that continue."

The Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, is hoping the club's academy can save him millions in the transfer market as he plots another spending mission. The club's disastrous conclusion to the Premier League campaign has prompted a root-and-branch review of their problems, and Bruce faces the task of explaining what has gone wrong to owner Ellis Short and coming up with solutions.

Bruce will be at least able to comfort himself with the knowledge that midfielder Jack Colback's emergence as a genuine first-team player in the wake of Jordan Henderson's rapid rise is further evidence that all the hard work below senior level is paying dividends.

"The academy does fantastically well here," Bruce said. "To have two young local lads in the team, that doesn't happen often in the Premier League these days, so they can take a big pat on the back. Ged [McNamee, academy manager] and his staff work extremely hard and we have got some very good young players too – Ryan Noble, Billy Knott, young Craig Lynch, Louis Laing, they have all got the potential to have good careers and I hope they continue."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own