Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has urged the club to beware of 'second season syndrome', with their Barclays Premier League status all but assured.
With six points and nine places separating them from 18th placed Birmingham City with nine games remaining, The Magpies can begin planning for the new season.
But Pardew knows all to well the affects of a second season in the Barclays Premier League, having struggled with West Ham United in their second term after the Hammers' return to the top flight in 2005.
“Believe me, the second year after promotion is always tougher," he said.
“You don’t have the initial burst of adrenalin after promotion and it is something we have to start thinking about now and laying the foundations.
“The great character that we need to show in the next nine games is the same sort of stuff we’ll need in abundance next year.
“We’re going to need every ounce of it. It is an important season for us.”
Pardew will have a substantial transfer budget during the summer, with the club pledging that the money recouped from the sale of Andy Carroll will be spent on new players, and the former Southampton boss is eager to add to his depleted squad.
“I am looking forward to it, yes. But I’m also looking forward to the next nine games as well.
“You have to say we are short on personnel right now.
“At the moment it’s all about us showing character and discipline in the remaining games which will go a long way towards next season.
“It is something we have to show in the next nine games.”
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