Pardew 'shocked' by deal extension
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has admitted he "cannot quite believe" he has been handed an eight year contract by club owner Mike Ashley.
Pardew's success in guiding Newcastle back onto the European stage has impressed all observers, yet the Londoner was stunned by the unprecedented length of the deal offered to him by Ashley and his side-kick, the club's managing director Derek Llambias.
"I was a bit shocked when it was suggested that an eight year contract was on the table," said Pardew. "It hasn't quite sunk in, if I'm being honest, that the club have given me that kind of contract.
"Obviously, it's very difficult to envisage what might happen over the next eight years. On the other side of the coin, I see this as my best chance to win a trophy at a big club and I've always said that is my main aim from the day I arrived here. We want to win something for Newcastle and having this kind of stability can only help that.
"I've entered into contracts in the past and have not seen them out and while I would like to say I'll see this one out, the fans will ultimately put the pressure on if they want a new manager. So I have to make sure that everything I do is for our wonderful supporters and we are hopefully pushing for trophies in every competition.
"If I'm here for the full eight years, I will have had to be successful. Qualifying for the Champions League would be like winning a trophy for us and I think that can happen here, We're going to need a bit of luck to win a cup as well, but my squad is already good enough to do that."
Pardew was left frustrated by his side's Capital One Cup exit against Manchester United on Wednesday night, but he is convinced the club's 43-year wait for a major trophy can end during his reign as manager.
"We have a great team, great players, great staff and one of the key things for me this week is that my staff have also been given long contracts that will keep them here for a long time," continued Pardew.
"John Carver, Steve Stone and our chief scout Graham Carr have all played a big part in the success we have enjoyed in the last couple of years and they deserve to be rewarded."
The Newcastle boss believes he will be given a hot reception when he takes his side to Reading on Saturday, with Royals supporters yet to forgive Pardew for his contentious exit from the club's managerial dugout back in 2003.
"It always feels like I am the pantomime villain for Reading fans," he added. "I won't get a good reception. In fact, it will be horrendous probably because of the way I left. It will be a pretty charged-up atmosphere and we need our fans to be as vocal as they can be in their support, as they always are."