ALAN Irvine feels Newcastle United are getting their rewards for standing by manager Alan Pardew.
Supporters called for Pardew to be dismissed after a disappointing start to the Premier League season, but owner Mike Ashley kept faith.
And Newcastle go into Sunday’s trip to face Irvine’s West Bromwich Albion side, above the 12th-placed Tynesiders only on goal difference, on the back of four successive league and cup victories.
Pardew was also yesterday nominated for the Premier League’s Manager of the Month award for October.
Albion boss Irvine worked as first-team coach and Academy director at Newcastle earlier in his career.
And the Scot feels his former club, in the long term, will benefit from “continuity”.
“I have to say I’m really pleased for Alan and the staff who are there as well,” said Irvine. “It’s been hard for them.
“I saw them playing at Stoke (where Newcastle lost 1-0), and I thought they were a bit unlucky.
“I didn’t think they were too far away from getting results.
“I’m really pleased to see it’s turned round for Alan and everybody associated with the club.
“I felt for Alan. I think he’s been great throughout. He’s been really dignified. I’m pleased that it’s turned around.
“Obviously, Mike Ashley’s stuck by Alan, and it’s nice to see.
“The easy thing is to give in to the pressure. He obviously thinks Alan’s the right person for the job.
“Alan’s had some really good times there already, and I don’t see why he can’t have them again.
“It’s great to see an owner sticking with the manager.
“Lots of people say continuity is required and time to build things. It’s great to see Newcastle backing their manager.”
Irvine – who succeeded Pepe Mel at West Brom in the summer after leaving Everton, where he had been in charge of the club’s successful Academy – is enjoying his return to first-team football.
And he aims to end the Magpies’ five-game unbeaten run at The Hawthorns.
“I’m hoping that it’ll be an attractive game, and I’ve said how much I think of Newcastle, but obviously I’m hoping that we get a win,” said the 56-year-old.
“It would be great from our point of view, but I realise how difficult that will be.”
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