- Premier League
Doubt lingers over Pardew's Newcastle future
The future of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is far from certain despite his confirmation that he is staying to "take the club up the league table", ESPN understands.
Pardew broke his silence to confirm his commitment to Newcastle with a brief comment on Wednesday in the Newcastle Chronicle, but sources have confirmed the 51-year-old will continue to review his position as the club get used to life working under the watch of newly-installed Director of Football Joe Kinnear.
The controversial Kinnear has now established himself as chief adviser to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley on the club's board, with the resignation of Managing Director Derek Llambias on Wednesday viewed as a big blow to Pardew.
Pardew's close friendship with Llambias helped him to secure him an unprecedented eight-year contract with the club last season and his exit leaves the Newcastle manager exposed to the impulsive whims of owner Ashley.
Ashley made the decision to shake-up the club's hierarchy without consulting the now departed Llambias or Pardew, and it remains to be seen whether the coach who guided the club to a hugely impressive fifth-placed finish in the Premier League in May 2012 will be content to work in the modified set-up featuring Kinnear.
By refusing to publicly endorse and welcome Kinnear to the new set-up at Newcastle, Pardew has fuelled the suspicion that he is uncomfortable with the developments at the club and he has previously stressed his belief that fundamental changes at the club are not required.
The Newcastle boss remains convinced that the set-up he has established with chief scout Graham Carr and assistants John Carver and Steve Stone can be a winning formula once again and he rejected the suggestion at the back end of last season that he needed additional help to revive the side's fortunes.
"Make no mistake, myself, my magnificent coaching staff and the fine squad we have in place will all be stronger for the experiences of the last few months when next season rolls around," he wrote in a set of programme notes at the back end of last season.
"Our fifth place finish in the Premier League a year ago was no fluke and likewise, the position we find ourselves in now is justified, but a lot is being said about our team that is not justified."
Pardew will spend the next few days in Spain as he allows the dust to settle at Newcastle, but his fate is far from resolved ahead of a crucial summer of transfer dealing for the North East club.