ALAN Pardew feels he has emerged from the testing start to the season as a better manager.
Pardew had his position questioned on a regular basis in the early weeks of the campaign, with Newcastle languishing in the Premier League’s bottom three.
However, four wins in a row in all competitions have lifted the mood on Tyneside as Pardew nears his fourth anniversary as manager.
He has described recent months as “interesting and educational”, but feels the tough times have improved him.
He said: “We have had a long four years. We have had some success.
“Some success got forgotten, but I have always enjoyed it here.
“I would like to think I am coming out of this a better manager.
“It has been interesting and educational.
“It tests you, this football club, on a number of levels.”
Pardew hailed his Magpies after overcoming a tactical surprise to pick up a third successive Premier League win, beating Liverpool 1-0 on Saturday.
Ayoze Perez’s goal earned all three points, to follow wins over Leicester and Tottenham as the Tynesiders temporarily moved into the top half of the table, and Pardew admitted afterwards that the Reds’ system had surprised him.
He added: “It was a great day for us, because Liverpool is always a big, big target for this football club.
“We’ve had some epic games against them, and on Saturday I wouldn’t say it was an enthralling encounter, but it was interesting tactically.
“Brendan (Rodgers) surprised me by playing three at the back and that unsettled us at first.
“We struggled to have a foothold, but we have such pace in the team and we can defend deep. The back four were terrific, and we always carried a threat.
“We would like to have had more control of the game and I think that’s where we need to go a little bit more.
“When we’re at home, we need to have more possession than we had on Saturday, but we’ve got a juvenile kind of spirit around us, and that’s really nice.”