When Alan Pardew accepted the job as Newcastle manager he received text messages from colleagues saying he must be mad, but 12 months on his position could hardly be more secure.
On Friday, the 50-year-old celebrated a year in charge during which he has turned the Magpies from potential relegation material into surprise challengers for the top six, despite more than his fair share of obstacles.
The former Reading, West Ham and Charlton boss said: "It's been an enjoyable experience. As a manager, when you come into a club it's important to make some progress and we've managed to do that, myself and my staff. I'm really happy with the team."
Pardew added: "I've got a great set of players who fight every week to try to get the result, and if you're a Newcastle fan that's very, very important. We've had a great start and we'll look to continue it this week.
"In some ways it seems like a long year, when I look back at all the incidents, selling Andy Carroll and everything else, but at the same time it seems to have flashed by.
"I think as a club we've tried to do it the right way. I've tried to put a product on the football pitch that plays the game in the right manner and hopefully get great results, and that's what we've had.
"There's certainly been more highs than lows and I'm really looking forward to my next year."
- Sports & Recreation