Pardew reveals Newcastle relief
Alan Pardew admits he is lucky to still be at Newcastle United following a run that saw the team win just two games in 14 attempts.
Newcastle have responded recently with consecutive victories against Aston Villa and Chelsea and Pardew is keen to repay the faith shown in him by the club, with the manager signing an eight-year contract earlier this season.
"It's rare in football to have the position I've had, and even with the results I've had, when the message from upstairs was that I was going to be retained as manager," Pardew told reporters.
"Which was a good feeling for me. Perhaps not so much for our fans at times.
"But I hope to repay that in the longer term, because obviously I was aware of the problems and I'm aware of the problems we still have.
"It's been a difficult season for us. For myself it's been a question of making sure we're consistent in our message, being honest with our fans - and we have been.
"We've not been good enough and we've been saying that. And now we think we have got a team that's good enough and we have to back it up with results. So far, we've got two great results and we have to build on that.
"We also need to strengthen the underbelly of this football club and we need to do that this summer probably. If we can do that we're going to be well set for next year because we've got some very good players on our books now."
Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias is desperate to bring calm to a club that is notorious for instability and hopes Pardew's reign can last as long as the likes of Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson's at Arsenal and Manchester United respectively.
"The club has never had stability," has said.
"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."
Newcastle are away to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday.