AN apologetic Alan Pardew is determined to ensure his headbutting shame makes him a better manager for Newcastle United after admitting: I feared for my job.
Pardew faced the media for the first time yesterday since he was issued with a seven-match ban by an independent regulatory commission on Tuesday for his touchline clash with Hull City’s David Meyler 13 days ago.
And the Newcastle boss ‘reiterated’ his apologies for the incident that has brought unnecessary and unwanted attention on St James’ Park for the wrong reasons.
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As he prepares to watch Newcastle’s trip to Fulham tomorrow at the team hotel because of the three-match stadium suspension he is due to start, Pardew is focused on using the whole experience to improve his managerial style.
During his personal hearing at Wembley on Tuesday, the 52-year-old outlined his intentions to seek advice in the hope of curbing the hot-streak that reared its ugly head at the KC Stadium. He is exploring the possibility of working with a life coach.
Pardew said: “I’ve spoken to a few CEOs (chief executive officers) who have management counselling, in terms of how to do their job better. I think that is an avenue that might work for me.
“I have spoken to Richard Bevan (League Managers Association) who has been a great help, in terms of finding someone who is going to work for me, and just bounce ideas off.
“Not necessarily just about the touchline and the pressures of the job I’m under, just normal managerial decisions that I make. The big question for me when this incident happened is ‘how am I going to be a better manager out of it?’ “I don’t want to be a worse manager, I don’t want to lose that drive and passion that I have, but I am going to channel it a little bit better.”
He added: “In the city, if you were a top CEO, you would have one, the company would make sure you had one. I’m probably as important as them with the position I am in. That is something I am hoping is a positive for me.”
When Pardew returned to work following his headbutt on Meyler he found something in his training ground office waiting for him.
“The players were funny because it was a typical training ground reaction, a bit of gallows humour,” said Pardew. “They are quite pleased that the gaffer has got it, but not without concerns as well.
“I had a pair of boxing gloves in my changing room. I don’t know who is responsible for that and I’ve not even tried to find out. I will ask my new management consultant to get to the bottom of that!
“But when all is said and done, it is not a laughing matter and I haven’t come in here to make jokes about it. But you can’t get away from the fact that is how players cope with these things, we’d all go mad otherwise.”
The FA’S fine of £60,000 increased the financial penalty Pardew faced to £160,000 following the club’s decision to hit his pocket hard. Yet he made no attempt to disguise the fact he feared Newcastle could have brought an end to his reign.
When asked if he feared for his job, he said: “It is a relief (that his job is safe). Men make mistakes. I made mine in front of millions of people. When you make a mistake, you have to pay a price. It was a hefty price.
“Mike Ashley (the club’s owner) acted swiftly. I have to say in this interim period the backing I have had from the club in particular has been a big help because it has been difficult.”
The severity of the situation had not really hit Pardew until after the 401 win at Hull, when the spotlight from all corners focused on his actions.
He said: "I was disappointed in myself. I'm an experienced manager and I shouldn't have got in that situation. I've had a lot of games, I think this is my 200th Premier League game at Fulham, and I've been involved in lots of situations and never got myself in that predicament.
“When you put all the training days into those games, it's something you look at and go that can't happen again."
Over the next 24 hours Pardew will focus on gearing his players up for the match at Fulham, knowing he will be sat in the hotel room with a video analyst keeping an eye on things.
"The game plan will be delivered in the hotel and really and truly the guys and John Carver know exactly what I except on that pitch for the game,” said Pardew. “Interfering from outside, watching it on the TV, I'm not sure that is the right thing to do. I'm genuinely telling you I'm not going to communicate anyway.
“It will be no different for me in terms of what I delivered at Hull. The only problem I’ve got is I’m not getting on the bus. I did think about going on the bus and having a hot dog outside but I don’t think that’s going to go down too well so I will say goodbye at the hotel!
"I will deliver to them, I think, probably on Tuesday, my reflections on the game. So, you could almost say I'm adopting a technical director's role in terms of I will have all the facts in front of me. I can say this is what I felt, this is what we didn't get right in the game plan and this is what we take in to Crystal Palace.”
Newcastle’s match preparations have also been hit by the news that leading goalscorer Loic Remy will miss the next few weeks with a calf problem. Full-back Mathieu Debuchy is also ruled out for the next four games with a groin complaint.