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The Magpies boss admits it hasn't been easy at times, particularly surrounding the departure of Andy Carroll, but he has forged a strong team spirit on and off the pitch

Alan Pardew has reflected on his first-year in charge of Newcastle ahead of the club's Premier League clash with Norwich on Saturday.

Following the club's fantastic start to the season, the Magpies find themselves eight points better off than this time last year, and currently lie in sixth place in the table.

"There have been more highs than lows. I've really enjoyed it,” Pardew told The Sun.

"In some ways, it feels like a long year after all the incidents, selling Andy Carroll and everything else. But in another way, it flashed by.”

Whilst the north-east club has a reputation for controversy, particularly under current owner Mike Ashley, Pardew believes the Magpies are beginning to ensure their talking is done on the pitch.

"There were no doubts in my mind. It is such a huge club. Other managers were saying to me, 'You know what it is like there, it's a bit of a crazy club'. Well, we are not so crazy now. There isn't so much bad news coming out.

"It's about making sure we have a good product on the pitch for the fans. I think the fans appreciate our team."

Injuries are beginning to mount though as Steven Taylor was ruled out for the season last week, whilst Fabricio Coloccini, Cheick Tiote and Danny Guthrie are also set to miss out this weekend.

"We have to get through this difficult period because of all the injuries but if we do we could have a great season,” Pardew added.

"Easier than I thought? No, but the end product is probably as good as I would have hoped for in terms of where we are in the league.

"I'm not going to disguise that. Certainly it's been eventful and demanding. I would not expect anything else at a big club like this. I enjoy it.

"When you come into a club, it's important to make progress and we've managed to do that. I'm really happy with the team.

"As a club we have tried to do it the right way, tried to put a team on the pitch that plays in the right manner.

"I'll never change my philosophy that my teams have to be on the front foot, trying to win the game and that's served us well.

"Our fans understand we can't compete with the top four or five on transfer fees, especially when someone comes in for our players.

"What we have is that the players we are bringing in for less are doing as well as the ones we have lost. Ba for Carroll is an example of that."

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