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."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam