Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has underlined his ambition to win a trophy as the Magpies’ boss and end Tyneside’s 58-year wait for domestic silverware.
The Geordies have not lifted one of English football’s top prizes since their FA Cup triumph over Manchester City in 1955, and the Toon supremo is determined to end the drought.
Recent noises from the club’s directors, via John Gibson in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, suggested their priority was simply to secure their Premier League status during the 2013-14 campaign.
But such apparent lack of ambition infuriated sections of their support, and speaking on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday programme, Pardew’s response was loud and clear:
All Premier League managers are under real pressure from their boards and owners to get a strong Premier League finish.
But for managers, of course, it isn’t. Our ambition is to win trophies, so every competition we enter we try to win.
This year, we want to win a cup. Can you imagine Newcastle winning a trophy? No one would love that more than myself. Our fans have been starved, but we go to some grounds and we’re classed as a massive club, which we are.
Last year, when we were in the Europa League, we put some really strong teams out and got to the quarter-finals.
We’ve got the resources this year to have a go in the cups, and I like to think that since I’ve been there, the squad has grown stronger. We’ve got a really good first XI, but the XI underneath it is not far away.
That bodes well and I feel a little bit more confident this year than I did last year. We’re not far away, in my opinion, from the team that finished fifth (in 2011-12) in terms of quality.
As well as landing that elusive trophy, another of Pardew’s priorities is to improve his team’s attacking abilities—something that was sorely lacking during last season’s brush with relegation.
A target for us is to be a team that our fans enjoy watching, ... At times last year, I was putting teams out that even I didn’t think had enough attacking potency to be a real threat.
This year I think we have and that’s the difference between us this year and last.
We’ve got some real attacking flair in the team and I think our fans will enjoy that, but what they want is silverware. Fourth place (in the Premier League) is beyond us, so silverware is probably the priority.