Football - Pardew targets more signings in summer

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is already planning his summer recruitment drive as the attempts to rid the club of its soft "under-belly".

PA Sport

On the day managing director Derek Llambias revealed that he and owner Mike Ashley would be thrilled if Pardew could extend his stay on Tyneside into decades like Sir Alex Ferguson has done at Manchester United, the manager was looking to the future.

The 51-year-old was handed an eight-year contract last September - two days before the Magpies embarked on a run of just three wins in 18 Barclays Premier League games.

Pardew revealed he was reassured his job was never under threat despite their alarming slide, which saw the club drop to within two points of the relegation zone before their recent recovery.

He said: "It's rare in football to have the position that I have had, and even with the results I had, the message from upstairs was that I was going to be retained as manager, which was a good feeling for me - perhaps not so much for our fans at times.

"I hope to repay that in the longer term because obviously I was aware of the problems and I am aware of the problems we still have.

"We need to strengthen the under-belly of this football club and we need to do that this summer, probably.

"If we can do that, then we are going to be well-set for next year because we have got some very good players on our books now."

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