Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies Demand Top-Ten Finish; Pardew Told What Is Required

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies Demand Top-Ten Finish; Pardew Told What Is Required

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas Chief sports writer ? (0191) 201-6281 ?

ALAN Pardew has been set a minimum target of a topten finish next season after concluding his post-season summit with Mike Ashley.

As expected, the manager's position was never under serious threat although the no-holds-barred meeting did throw up a number of issues - with a possible addition to the coaching staff and a greater emphasis on experience in their recruitment strategy both stressed.

United plan to hold meetings on recruitment when Pardew returns from a short break, with the United boss having jetted off to France to watch the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

St Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a preferred striker target while The Journal understands the club are keeping tabs on the status of midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who may be made available by Paris Saint-Germain. This summer Premier League targets are also being sourced.

But the club have taken the step of clarifying the outcome of yesterday's meeting, which saw Ashley (pictured below), Llambias and Pardew meet to talk through the problems that have afflicted the club.

Llambias said that "long-term stability" remained the goal and that the key men at the club were all "united" behind Newcastle.

He told the club's official website: "Everyone connected with the club was disappointed to finish where we did last season, particularly on the back of such a fantastic year prior to that.

"Our discussions on Wednesday were very constructive and we pinpointed a number of factors that contributed to a season which fell below expectations.

"We are now looking forward and are entirely focused on the forthcoming campaign, with the expectation of at least a topten finish in the Premier League. "There has been a great deal of speculation in recent weeks but our desire, as we announced back in September, is to brin"long-term stability" to this club. …

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