ALAN Pardew remains adamant he can rebuild Newcastle United in the summer – but he must first make it to the end of the season.
Pardew is under intense pressure at the club after a dismal run of results since the January sale of Yohan Cabaye.
And the 52-year-old – the Premier League’s second-longest serving manager – acknowledged last week that many frustrated fans now want a change.
However, plans are well advanced for the summer, when a number of outgoings and incomings are expected.
Pardew has been finalising Newcastle’s transfer strategy with owner Mike Ashley, managing director Lee Charnley, and chief scout Graham Carr over the past few weeks.
United, having already confirmed their participation in August’s Schalke 04 Cup in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, are also looking at a number of pre-season proposals.
But Pardew must first ensure the ninth-placed club, which is being chased down by Stoke City and Crystal Palace, clings on to its top-10 place.
While Pardew, up to now, has counted on the backing of Ashley, he would be vulnerable should Newcastle drop into the bottom half of the table.
“We’ve looked at a couple things last week that might be opportunities for us,” Pardew told the Gazette. “And we also looked at a couple players for the summer.
“That’s an area we need to get to, but we’ll be in a good position in the summer, I think. But we need to get there first.”
United lost a club-record fifth successive Premier League game on Saturday, and Pardew needs a result – and quickly.
However, two of the club’s last three remaining fixtures look daunting.
Pardew’s side, which has won one and lost six of its last seven games, take on fourth-placed Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night.
The visit to St James’s Park of relegation-threatened Cardiff City on May 3 looks to be Newcastle’s best hope of a result, but the team has struggled against teams at both ends of the division in recent months.
And United – who haven’t won a league game at Anfield in 20 years – travel to title-chasing Liverpool on the last day of the season.