Toon star hails Pardew drive

The former Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton boss took
over in the midst of a storm last December following Chris
Hughton’s untimely departure. Owner Mike Ashley’s decision to
dispense with Hughton’s services just months after he had guided
the club back into the Premier League at the first time of asking
did not go down well either with the fans or the players, and his
replacement faced the delicate task of repairing bridges while at
the same time attempting to steer the Magpies clear of the
relegation battle. But despite the loyalty to Pardew’s predecessor
which remained inside the dressing room, Nolan insists there was
never any danger of a revolt. He told NUFC TV: “Everyone was very
unhappy with the treatment of Chris and how it went down, but the
fact is the owners had a job to do and they thought they could get
someone in who was going to take the club forward. “You have got to
respect those decisions and, as players, all we have got to do is
make sure we are right for the new manager coming in, and that was
the be all and end all of it. “I spoke to Alan – it was very well
documented that he came to see me the day he took the job and he
was introduced to the press and to the fans. “He came to see me at
my house, which I thought was a great move, just to come and see
what the players were about. “I did reassure him then that he was
not going to have any backlash, because there were things in the
papers that players were going to down tools and things. “We had
worked too hard to get where we were at that point and we weren’t
going to let a press report or things like that get in our way.
“The drive and desire the Gaffer has for wanting to take this club
forward matches what we have got in the dressing room, so we are
just hoping now that he gets the resources to make sure he can
better us and keep moving us on year by year.” Pardew is currently
attempting to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season while
also hoping to tie up some of his key players on new deals.
Tyneside was hit by a bombshell last week when it was revealed that
midfielder Joey Barton will not be offered a contract extension,
while Jose Enrique’s future remains unclear. Nolan still has two
years of his existing deal to run and while talks over an extended
stay at St James’ Park are ongoing, no agreement has yet been
reached. However, he admits he is happy in the north-east and is
honoured to captain the club. He said: “My wife has been here for
18 months now and my kids – my little boy is a Geordie, he was born
up here, so we have settled into life up here really well and
hopefully I have a good few more years left here. “It’s
unbelievable. When I think back now, I never thought two years ago
that I would be where I am now, and that’s the most satisfying
thing. “I have been able to get where I want just through hard work
and dedication, and hopefully in the next couple of years, you are
going to see the best of me again, and more of it. “But to be
captain of this club, it really feels a great honour. It’s
fantastic and I am absolutely delighted. “When my daughter walks
round telling everyone I am captain of Newcastle, that’s when you
realise it affects a lot of people. “Genuinely from the bottom of
my heart, I love doing the captaincy bit and I love playing for
this club.”