Swansea v Newcastle: Alan Pardew drew on Bobby Robson inspiration in dark days
Newcastle could make it five wins in a row this evening
Wednesday 04 December 2013
It has been a remarkable transformation by anyone's standards. But with Newcastle United aiming to make it five successive Premier League wins when they travel to Swansea, manager Alan Pardew has admitted the memory of Sir Bobby Robson's achievements on Tyneside have been his inspiration in the darkest hours.
Having guided Newcastle to an unexpected fifth-placed finish in the 2011-12 season, Pardew found himself immersed in a relegation battle just months later as the demands of European football took a heavy toll on the team's domestic form.
Attention was briefly deflected away from him by Joe Kinnear's controversial appointment as director of football. But after minimal summer recruitment, a significant proportion of the club's support was less than happy with the 52-year-old Pardew's continued presence at St James' Park.
A thumping 4-0 defeat at Manchester City, a first-half capitulation at Everton and a derby defeat to Sunderland did little to silence his critics. Yet having since seen his Loïc Rémy-inspired side climb to sixth in the Premier League table on the back of victories over Chelsea, Tottenham, Norwich and West Bromwich Albion, Pardew is relishing his side's new-found confidence.
"You have to prove yourself as a manager at any club, but particularly at a big club, that you can handle the tough times," he said. "I did that at West Ham and got a lot of respect from West Ham fans, more for that, probably, than some of the great victories and getting to the Cup final and the promotion we got.
"Maybe it will be the same here. Maybe in the future, people will look back on that year and say, 'Well, he still handled it with a bit of dignity and respect', which I tried to do. Bobby Robson brought that to this job, and for me, that's the beacon for me to make sure I uphold those traditions."
Latest in Sport
Aaron Hernandez: American Football in the dock as NFL star player's murderous double life is revealed
Chelsea vs Manchester United: With Carrick, Blind, Jones and Rojo missing, how should Louis van Gaal set his side up at Stamford Bridge?
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Why Blues are the least popular team in the league
Chelsea vs Manchester United combined XI: Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea? Juan Mata or Willian? Who makes our team?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling