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Legend Tommy urges boss Pards to become a 'Toon god'.

Byline: STEVE BROWN Steve Brown is the name of more than one person of note:
  • Steve Brown (musician) (born 1942), American jazz guitarist, composer, and educator.
  • Steve Brown (actor)
  • Steve Brown (athlete), Trinidad and Tobago sprint athlete

TOMMY CASSIDY took a while to warm to Alan Pardew Alan Scott Pardew (born, 18 July 1961 in Wimbledon, London) is an English football manager and beforehand a player. As a player, he was a steady, hardworking midfielder, most notably playing for Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic. . Now he's challenging the Newcastle boss to become a Toon "god".

Like many, the former United midfielder - now managing Blyth Spartans - predicted a season of struggle at St James'.

But Pardew led the Magpies to fifth place in the Premier League, and a place in next season's Europa League.

As such, Cassidy has become a fan of the "deserved" Barclays and LMA Manager of the Year In the English Premier League, The League Managers Association Manager of the Year Award is annual award given to a manager from any division for his achievements in the prior season. , and cannot praise him enough.

But, the Irishman adds, the hard work starts here. Yet he believes that a bigger and better Newcastle squad can make further progress next season. "I wasn't a big fan of Alan Pardew's," Cassidy said. "I remember doing some media work over in Cumbria, when I was managing Workington.

"They asked me to commentate com·men·tate  
v. com·men·tat·ed, com·men·tat·ing, com·men·tates

To serve as commentator.
To make a running commentary on.
 on a Carlisle United game, against Southampton, and it was obvious the Southampton fans didn't like him.

"So that was my first impression of him.

"I'd not met him when he got the Newcastle job but when he came, I just thought it was another member of the 'Cockney Mafia'.

"I wasn't a Mike Ashley Mike Ashley could refer to:
  • Mike Ashley (radio presenter), a British radio on Heart 106.2
  • Mike Ashley (businessman) - English billionaire owner of various sports-related shop chains and brands.
 fan either, but you can hardly complain now. I can't give him and Pardew enough praise.

"At the start of the season I thought if they get a couple of bad results they could be a bottom-eight club.

"Looking at the other clubs, the foreign owners, the money being spent, I did fear for them. I thought mid-table at best.

"But Pardew's done an unbelievable job. To finish fifth, the way the Premier League is now, above the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool, is incredible.

"He thoroughly deserves his Manager of the Year awards. I've been to three or four games this season and been amazed a·maze  
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.

2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.

. He's got a team there, not just three or four superstars - 11 players working together.

"But the big task starts now, this is when he'll be judged. Fans will expect more and that increases the pressure on him.

"I was flabbergasted with what they managed to do this season but if they can kick on to the top six again it'll be an amazing achievement.

"But he has to keep hold of his top stars, or as many of them as he can. They can't afford to lose too many because the squad's not that big."

Cassidy added: "The Premier League is the most important thing and Europe could be a bit of a distraction, it could just take his mind off the main event.

"It would be different if they were in the Champions League, that's where the real money is.

"But there is a danger in putting too much focus on the Europa League. With so many games and them being on a Thursday, it can really affect your league form. But they can do well in that competition.

"If they'd won a trophy five years ago the Europa League wouldn't matter so much, but the next manager at Newcastle to win a trophy will be a god."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 23, 2012
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