Managerial milestone, but Pardew admits to ‘dark days’

Alan Pardew.

Alan Pardew.

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ALAN Pardew will reach a managerial career milestone tomorrow – but he’s in no mood to celebrate.

Newcastle United’s game against Leicester City will be Pardew’s 700th as a permanent manager.

But Pardew – who has managed in the top three English divisions with Newcastle, Southampton, West Ham United and Reading – won’t be popping any champagne corks with his side is third from bottom of the Premier League.

The 53-year-old has had fans chanting for him to be sacked this season and in the latter months of last term.

And Pardew admits he – and the team – have had some “dark days” of late.

“I’ve managed at three of the levels and they have all presented different challenges, which I’ve enjoyed,” said Pardew.

“As a manager you have real ups and downs – there is euphoria and some real dark days, which I’ve had recently here.

“You have to try to show a consistency in what you do. It’s not really a time for reflection for me this week, because Leicester is so important for this football club.

“All I’m focused on is getting the win we need for this city and the club.”

Pardew is looking to push on and reach more milestone in his managerial career, but he must first hold on to his job at St James’s Park.

Asked how he could continue to manage and reach the 900 or 1,000-game marks, he said: “You have to try to improve.

“At the moment, the team is struggling. I need to use all of my resources to try to improve it.

“We’ve worked hard this week, particularly with the players who have stayed here to try to get them to a level where they’re ready to start.”

Pardew retains the backing of club owner Mike Ashley, who handed him a seven-year contract in 2012.

However, the pair have not spoken over the international break, though Pardew has had a regular dialogue with managing director Lee Charnley.

“I have spoken the chief executive a few times,” said Pardew.

“It’s just little things that can help. I spoke to the chief executive about certain things I think might help the team. The most important thing is the team.

“It’s not about helping me, it’s about helping us get a win, so therefore those conversations have taken place, but not directly with Mike.”