ALAN Pardew has admitted his performance as Newcastle United manager has “not been good enough” this season, but the under-fire boss is hopeful he will be around to put his mistakes right this summer and beyond.
Pardew takes his side to face Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow in a game that will bring the curtain down on another turbulent campaign on Tyneside.
The Magpies boss is scheduled to meet owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley next week in an end of season de-brief with his position in the hot seat under intense scrutiny after a woeful run in the second half of the season.
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Sections of supporters have made their feelings towards the 52-year-old clear at recent games with many calling for a change in management after their worst run of form in almost 20 years.
Yesterday morning, Pardew woke to reports in French newspaper, L’Equipe, that St Etienne manager Christophe Galtier had been approached to take over at St James’ Park, but the Magpies boss and club officials were both quick to refute those claims.
Pardew has been criticised by fans unhappy with his post-match comments, tactics and team selections and when asked to look back on the campaign, the Magpies boss had an honest assessment of his own performance.
“It’s contrasting really for me because the first half I actually felt we played not far from our top level, for most of that,” Pardew said. “But in the second half we haven’t been good enough, I haven’t been good enough, and the results have followed. It’s that second half of the season we need to focus on to make sure we get ourselves in a stronger position.
“I’ve obviously let myself down on the touchline, for sure. So that area I have looked to improve and I think I have made some strides with that. I couldn’t really show it against Cardiff because there were other problems.
“I think I’ve made some calls this year where I could have been a bit more positive tactically. That might have come from my situation sitting up in the stands, I don’t know. But I feel a lot more comfortable in this last couple of weeks being back on the sideline, an environment where I am a little bit happier.
“I know it was difficult in terms of the fans on Saturday but it was still a lot easier for me to manage in that position.”
Newcastle go into tomorrow’s trip to Anfield with their pre-season objective of a top-ten finish assured, an achievement which could prove pivotal in Ashley’s thoughts moving forward.
It remains to be seen how the Magpies owner has interpreted the feeling towards the former West Ham boss, but Pardew insists he is looking forward to meeting Ashley next week.
He said: “I haven’t had any assurances, but I haven’t even looked for them. At the moment, I really need to just focus on the team.
“I did that for the Cardiff game and that worked out well for us. I’d like to think we’ll be well set for Liverpool. We’ve worked hard this week. Everything else needs to be looked at after – recruitment, why the second half of the season wasn’t so good, and face those problems. They are problems we can’t get away from.
“I always enjoy meeting the owner and the board, because I think it is a time for reflection and a time to be honest. I think anybody who knows myself and knows Mike, knows that we speak our minds.
“I hope Sunday won’t be my last match. As a Premier League manager, especially on the run I have been on, you can’t be 100 per cent confident. But I know one thing I am confident on, is that the team have worked well this week.
“They want to try and end the season on a high and give real integrity to the league, that we put a real performance out and we don’t turn up and expect Man City to win, and that it is all going to fall in place. We need to make sure we get a result at Liverpool, a win or a draw, whatever happens at Man City happens.”