Pardew looking to the future
Alan Pardew will not allow Newcastle to stand still no matter what they eventually achieve this season.
The Magpies head into Sunday's Premier League clash with leaders Manchester City with third place still a possibility as the season draws to a close, something which would have been beyond the manager's wildest dreams in August.
At worst, the club will finish in sixth with the added bonus of Europa League football next season; at best they could qualify for the Champions League and the riches that would bring.
Either way, it will have been a remarkable season for Newcastle in just their second season back in the top flight.
However, asked about how owner Mike Ashley is enjoying the thrill of seeing the club battling it out with the big boys, Pardew insisted it is more about how they move forward and sustain that success.
He said: "You would be surprised, we don't really have those discussions.
"It's more about protecting ourselves as a club, making sure that the stadium has the right atmosphere, the players who are coming in and going out are right decisions, more so than what's happening in terms of where we are in the league.
"We will reflect on it at the end of the year, like you should as a football club, what went right, what went wrong.
"Obviously a lot of things have gone right, and we need to make sure next year it happens again and the few things we did get wrong, we try to correct."
There was an acceptance at the start of the season that a top-half finish would be satisfactory after last year's 12th place, and it is a measure of how far the Magpies have exceeded expectations that there would be a level of disappointment if they ended the campaign in fifth.
But as long as there are points to play for, Pardew is happy for the club's fans to contemplate bigger things.
He said: "I have said all along, I am not going to stop our fans dreaming, that's part of the game.
"At the end of the season, if we finish fifth or sixth, I will probably put some reality on it, but I don't need to at this stage.
"It's about trying to finish fourth or third if we can. Mathematically, we can do that and we are going to try to do it."
Newcastle could yet have a major say in the destination of the league title with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson having enlisted their help in the battle for the psychological advantage over arch-rivals City.
United, of course, lost 3-0 at St James' Park on January 4, and the wily Scot has gone out of his way this week to warn Roberto Mancini his side will find life difficult in the north-east with their hosts battling Arsenal and Tottenham for third and fourth places.
Pardew said with a smile: "It's obvious that Spurs and Manchester United are going to talk us up because Manchester United want us to beat Manchester City, and the other reason for Spurs is to suggest to Manchester City they best be on their toes because it's not going to be an easy game.
"It's part of the psychology of managers. But for myself and Roberto on Sunday, it's quite simple: we get our team into the best possible shape to try to win the game.
"That's all we can determine and at the end of the day, we will live and die by the tactics we put on the pitch and the performances of the players.
"Hopefully we will come out on top."
Regardless of how the final throes of the season pan out, Pardew will be able to look back on a campaign which has seen him silence his own doubters, although that time has not arrived just yet.
He said: "It's not a time for reflection for me because we are still very much in the season. I have just thoroughly enjoyed it, I can't say anymore than that.
"If you enjoy your work and you enjoy coming to work and enjoy the area in which you live, that's a big part of a successful year, and that's really where I am at."