Alan Pardew was confirmed as the new Newcastle boss on Thursday after days of speculation.

The 49-year-old has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract and takes over from Chris Hughton, who was sacked on Monday.

Pardew's first task will be to galvanise a dressing room stunned by Hughton's untimely departure and to persuade the club's disgruntled fans that he is the man to take the club forward.

Pardew will be officially unveiled at a press conference at St James' Park at 2.30pm on Thursday afternoon.

He said: "I am honoured and privileged to have been given this opportunity at Newcastle United, one of the truly great clubs in English football.

"I understand what this club means to its supporters. Throughout the football world people recognise that this is a unique club in many ways, with supporters who are second to none in their loyalty, passion and devotion for the team.

"I'm not a Geordie, of course, but I'm a football person with a love of the game and I can assure you I bring great drive, desire and commitment to the job."

Pardew was installed as the bookmakers' favourite in the wake of Hughton's departure after months of rumours that he was being lined up to replace the former Republic of Ireland international.

The former Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton manager has been out of work since losing his job at St Mary's Stadium in August.

He will be charged with the task of implementing owner Mike Ashley's long-term plan for the club after three and a half years of turmoil on Gallowgate.

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