Newcastle United appointed Alan Pardew as manager to succeed Chris Hughton, who was fired three days ago.
Pardew, 49, signed a 5 1/2-year contract, the English Premier League soccer club said. He previously managed Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton after a playing career that included spells at Crystal Palace and Charlton.
He said he may face a battle to be accepted by Newcastle fans, many of whom were upset over Hughton’s departure and opposed Pardew’s appointment.
“I’m privileged to be sitting here and looking forward to a tough job,” Pardew said at a televised news conference. “But it’s difficult because it’s fairly obvious the players and fans had tremendous respect for Chris and the fact he’s gone has caused something of a stir.”
Newcastle, promoted from the Championship at the end of last season, is 12th in the league, having won five of 16 games. It lost 3-1 at West Brom last weekend. Pardew’s first game is at home against Liverpool in two days.
“The problem I’m going to have initially is the players. I need to get my message across quickly and with clarity so as not to get any resentment at a time when they are doing reasonably well,” Pardew said.
After several managerial changes in the quick succession, Hughton had restored a degree of stability in securing the Magpies’ return to the top league a year after relegation. However, the club said this week it wanted a more experienced coach.
`You Must Be Mad'
Pardew said his acceptance of the job had received a skeptical reaction from other managers.
“I’ve had a lot of texts from managers saying, ‘You must be mad going in there’ but it’s a massive club, one of the top five in the country I’d suggest,” he told reporters. “I’d never be able to live with myself if I didn’t take that on.”
Pardew led West Ham to promotion to the Premier League in 2005 and the F.A. Cup final in 2006, but was fired in December that year.
He then took over at Charlton, which was struggling in the top flight, and was unable to keep it in the Premier League. He left the Addicks in November 2008 and took over at third-tier Southampton in mid-2009, leading the club to victory in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in March this year.
The Saints finished one place off the playoff spots in 2009-10, having started the season with a 10-point penalty. They dismissed Pardew in August.