Pardew eyes summer signings
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is already planning his summer recruitment drive as the attempts to rid the club of its soft "under-belly".
On the day managing director Derek Llambias revealed that he and owner Mike Ashley would be thrilled if Pardew could extend his stay on Tyneside into decades like Sir Alex Ferguson has done at Manchester United, the manager was looking to the future.
The 51-year-old was handed an eight-year contract last September - two days before the Magpies embarked on a run of just three wins in 18 Premier League games.
Pardew revealed he was reassured his job was never under threat despite their alarming slide, which saw the club drop to within two points of the relegation zone before their recent recovery.
He said: "It's rare in football to have the position that I have had, and even with the results I had, the message from upstairs was that I was going to be retained as manager, which was a good feeling for me - perhaps not so much for our fans at times.
"I hope to repay that in the longer term because obviously I was aware of the problems and I am aware of the problems we still have.
"We need to strengthen the under-belly of this football club and we need to do that this summer, probably.
"If we can do that, then we are going to be well-set for next year because we have got some very good players on our books now."
Ashley funded the January spending spree which saw Pardew recruit five senior players, one of whom - Moussa Sissoko - turned in a match-winning display in Saturday's 3-2 victory over European champions Chelsea.
That was as much an illustration of his continuing faith in the former West Ham boss as it was an admission that the club had got it wrong during the summer with its frugal approach, and Llambias today confirmed that.
He told the Evening Chronicle: "The club has never had stability. It needs it. This is too big a club not to have stability.
"Do we want to find ourselves in a situation when we have a manager for 15 or 20 years? Absolutely. If the manager works, we work. You cannot get any better than that.
"Eventually you will bring to the club what it has been crying out for. Stability is a big thing for us."
Llambias also indicated that Newcastle are likely to concentrate on the European market once again when they look for further reinforcements, with British talent too expensive for their liking.
However, that was news to Pardew, who said: "That's a view that he has - it's not something that I personally hold.
"All the markets are open to us and whatever becomes available, we will take the best option we think is there."
In the short term, the Magpies will concentrate on the task of building upon successive wins over Aston Villa ad Chelsea to ease themselves further clear of trouble, although that may prove easier said than done this weekend as they travel to Tottenham, where they lost 5-0 last season.
Events conspired against Pardew that day as the Spurs players responded emphatically to speculation that then manager Harry Redknapp would leave to become England boss.
Pardew said: "Spurs played very, very well that day. There was a lot of business with Harry perhaps going to England and everything else, and we caught them on that day when it was all coming together for them.
"This will be a different scenario. We have got ourselves on the up a little bit and hopefully we can turn the result around.
"But they have got some fantastic players - Gareth Bale is in the top five or six players in the world right now, so we have got some difficult players to contain."