Pardew hails Ashley's approach
Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has praised owner Mike Ashley for leaving him alone to get on with his job.
The sportswear tycoon has presided over an eventful period at the newly-renamed St James' Park since staging his take-over in May 2007, repeatedly sparking controversy as he attempts to guide the club to self-sufficiency.
However, Pardew, the man he appointed manager in December 2010, insists he does not have to deal with any interference from Ashley as he looks to build for success on the pitch.
He told the Evening Chronicle: "He is the best chairman I have had in terms of letting me work.
"He hardly ever bothers me and if he does, it's about a decision involving the budget, questions like, 'Was that a good move?' or 'Could we have paid less?'.
"But outside of the team, very rarely will he stop me and say, 'Why did you sub him at that time?' or 'What's the story with him? Why isn't he playing?'.
"He trusts me and knows I am being fair. I am trying to get the best out of the team."
Pardew will send his side into derby battle on Sunday hoping to have central defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor back from injury, with Sunderland's £12million summer signing Steven Fletcher in top form.
Their absence through hamstring and calf injuries respectively in recent weeks has exposed a lack of depth in that department of Pardew's squad after they failed to land a defender during the summer transfer window despite targeting Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy and FC Twente's Douglas among others.
The price was simply not right for either man with the Magpies, as has become their policy, sticking to their valuations.
However, Pardew is convinced Ashley would be prepared to go the extra mile if he thought a deal represented good value.
He said: "There have been times when [managing director] Derek [Llambias] has said, 'It's out of the budget' or 'It doesn't work', but Mike has said, 'Do it'. Don't think that might not happen again."