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Jonas confident Pardew will keep Magpies ticking
JONAS GUTIERREZ thinks stability off the pitch will ensure Newcastle United continue to flourish on it after securing the future of manager Alan Pardew.
The Magpies' first match since Pardew committed to a new eight-year deal ended in a 2-2 draw at Reading on Saturday, ensuring that the start to the new campaign remained solid.
Newcastle might only sit ninth after six games and on the back of just two wins, but during that run their only defeat was at Chelsea which has encouraged Gutierrez.
The Argentine winger insists confirmation that the manager and his backroom team are tied to the club until the summer of 2020 has been well received in the dressing room.
Gutierrez said: "It's good for the manager to have that type of contract. It's important to have the manager and a lot of the players on long-term deals because it shows what is going on at the club - that they want to keep all of the players and try to make a big group, with players and staff as well.
"I think it is really important for the club, and it is reassuring for us as players as well. It helps everyone to know that they (the board) have the confidence in the manager. That is a big point for us."
Newcastle's fifth placed finish last season after a year of replacing the old guard with many new faces was the crucial bargaining tool when owner Mike Ashley decided to hand out the new terms.
Gutierrez said: "Maybe nobody expected that Newcastle were going to finish in that position last season. He (Pardew) is doing a great job and when he won the manager of the year, he deserved that.
"He did a really good job, but in football you cannot think about the past - you have to think about the present. Like all the players and the staff, he is focused on this season now too. We have to try to do the same or better than last season."
The success of last season led to a hectic start to the current campaign. As well as juggling Premier League action with the Capital One Cup, Pardew also had to plan for regular dates in the Europa League.
The next game in Europe is this Thursday, when French club Bordeaux provide their stiffest test to date at St James' Park ahead of Sunday's visit of Manchester United in the Premier League .
"It's a big week for us, with Bordeaux and Manchester United, but that is the way it has been this year," said Gutierrez. "They have all felt like pretty big weeks. The problem is that we are getting a lot of players with injuries and that is obviously not ideal.
"It is a big, big problem for us, with all the matches we are having to play. When you don't have all the players available, it's hard for the manager to prepare the team and hard for the players because we don't have that big a squad.
"Steven Taylor has become the latest player to have to go off, and it's hard. But we have to keep going and keep focused on the jobs we have to do for the team."
In the opening three matches in the Europa League, Newcastle have rested a number of first team regulars. That is likely to be the case again this Thursday.
Gutierrez, though, is adamant progressing in the competition is high in the squad's thinking.
He said: "Europe is very important to us. We worked hard to get there last season and we want to do well. It means extra matches, but whatever game you are playing in the shirt of Newcastle, you want to win.
"You want to do it right for the club. That is the most important thing - we don't care what team we play against, or what competition we are in, we just want to do things right and win as many games as we can. That's why we are here, to try to win the games."
Taylor will definitely miss the game with Bordeaux. The centre-back is struggling with the calf problem which forced him off at Reading and his place for the date with Manchester United is in doubt too.