Alan Pardew faces sack unless Newcastle finish in top 10 next season

Alan Pardew has been warned his job will be under threat should Newcastle United fail to achieve at least a top-10 finish next season.

Derek Llambias, the managing director, has made it clear that Pardew requires a strong start to the new campaign to eliminate doubts about his suitability that emerged during Newcastle's recent relegation skirmish.

"We are now entirely focused on the forthcoming campaign with the expectation of at least a top-10 finish in the Premier League," said Llambias, who dismissed suggestions that he and Mike Ashley, the club's owner, considered sacking Pardew – who, this time last year, steered Newcastle to fifth place but now has to prove himself all over again – during a meeting with the manager in London on Wednesday.

"Everyone was disappointed to finish where we did last season, particularly on the back of such a fantastic year prior to that," said Llambias. "Our discussions on Wednesday were very constructive and we pinpointed a number of factors that contributed to a season which fell below expectations.

"There has been a great deal of speculation in recent weeks but our desire, as we announced back in September [when Pardew signed an eight-year contract] is to bring long-term stability to this club. It's up to us all now to work closely as a team to ensure next season sees us competing in the top half of the table again."

Although it appears that Ashley is not prepared to back Pardew's desire to bring Andy Carroll back to Tyneside, Graham Carr, Newcastle's influential chief scout, is expected to be busy this summer. It is thought Carr will concentrate on identifying young talent in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as France, where the St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is believed to loom large on the club's shopping list.

Carr, though, will also be hunting for centre-halves after it emerged that San Lorenzo are poised to make another attempt to take Fabricio Coloccini, Newcastle's homesick captain, back to his native Argentina.

Powered by article was written by Louise Taylor, for The Guardian on Thursday 23rd May 2013 19.21 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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