Pardew Talks Up His 'Bouncebackability'; Boss Is Confident Charlton Have What It Takes to Make a Swift Return to the Premiership. by Michael Hart

The Evening Standard (London, England), May 8, 2007 | Go to article overview

Pardew Talks Up His 'Bouncebackability'; Boss Is Confident Charlton Have What It Takes to Make a Swift Return to the Premiership. by Michael Hart


AN EMOTIONAL Alan Pardew vowed today to repay the faith and loyalty of the Charlton fans and lead the club straight back into the Premiership next season.

With their seven-year stay among the game's elite ended by Tottenham's 2-0 win at The Valley last night, Pardew now faces the challenge of building a team with the qualities necessary to climb out of the Championship.

Although he refused to discuss the break-up of his existing squad, he will almost certainly have to use the sale of England striker Darren Bent to finance any foray into the transfer market.

The Charlton manager said: "Ithink we can bounce back. What we have to do first, though, is focus on our final game at Liverpool and leave this division with some pride. Then we have to put our egos to one side next season, otherwise we will be found out in the Championship.

"If we can show the necessary character I think we should be in the top four or five next season and so repay the faith the fans have shown in us. They have been absolutely brilliant in what has been a tough few months.

"We've had great support from the fans andthe board. We have tried everything - smoke and mirrors, the whole shebang! But you need to score goals and if you don't do that you're always under pressure.

"In the end we simply haven't been good enough. We tried, but it wasn't to be.

I've no regrets. I'm just sorry I couldn't pull it off. The table speaks for itself ... there are no politics involved, no court cases, this is where it's at. It was obvious when I came here that it was a tough call.

"We've been a bit unlucky with fixtures recently. We haven't played one team that didn't have an agenda ...

Everton, Sheffield United, Blackburn and now Spurs." With a UEFA Cup place on their horizons, Tottenham were never going to be a soft touch for a troubled club needing wins in the final two games to have any realistic chance of avoiding the drop.

Spurs' comfortable victory means that they need only a point from their home Michael Hart games against Blackburn on Thursday and Manchester City on Sunday to secure European football again next season.

"In the circumstances, taking three points at Charlton and keeping a clean sheet is an excellent night's work," said Tottenham manager Martin Jol.

"I feel for Charlton. It's a great club but we needed the points. I think everyone could see that we had more quality." A brilliant opening goal by Dimitar

Berbatov epitomised the gulf in class between the teams. After just seven minutes he turned elegantly past Talal El Karkouri, then out-paced the Charlton defender before sliding his low shot beyond Scott Carson.

The Premiership's best newcomer according to Jol, Berbatov is bound to be offered improved terms this summer to ensure he ignores the lure of other interested parties and remains at Spurs - a situation that could be tested by interest from Manchester United. …

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