When Alan Pardew left Newcastle United to manage Crystal Palace, the Eagles were dwelling in the relegation zone but he promised to strive for a top-10 finish regardless.
With the Premier League season just concluded, the Englishman can call that objective accomplished, as Palace defeated Swansea City today, 1-0, and therefore clinched 10th place.
Before taking the time to commend his squad, Pardew applauded Newcastle players for avoiding demotion in their triumph over West Ham.
“Firstly, I must say congratulations to Newcastle because that was the team that started the season. Great club and [I’m] absolutely delighted they made it.”
Pardew was even more pleased about the outcome achieved by his current footballers.
“For us, unbelievable,” he said, one word summing up the historic journey to 10th place. “Even I couldn’t have imagined we’d do that today..This league is all about a marathon, not a sprint.”
Assessing what led to the accomplishment, the 53-year-old referred to his past experiences and the willingness of Palace’s competitors to stick to his plan.
“My knowledge I’ve gained as a Premier League manager, particularly at Newcastle, a tough regime, and I’ve had to put that toughness in this group. They’re a great set of players. They responded to all the tactical elements I threw at them.”