Toon star hails Pardew drive

BY foxsports • June 1, 2011

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."

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