Pardew 'relieved' not to lose job over headbutt

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has revealed it was "a relief" not to lose his job after he headbutted Hull City's David Meyler.

Pardew sparked controversy during his side's 4-1 victory at Hull on March 1 when he clashed with Meyler on the touchline.

The 52-year-old has since been handed a three-match stadium ban and four-game touchline suspension by the Football Association (FA), with the former starting against Fulham on Saturday.

Newcastle formally warned Pardew and fined him £100,000 in the immediate aftermath of the incident, but opted not to dismiss the former West Ham boss.

Speaking in his first press conference since learning his punishment from the FA, Pardew thanked his club for the backing they have given him.

"It was a relief when I was told I would not lose my job," Pardew said.

"My mistake was in front of millions of people and I had to pay a price.

"(Club owner) Mike Ashley acted swiftly and we move forward. Since the incident, the backing I have had from the club has helped me."

Assistant manager John Carver will take charge against Fulham on Saturday, and Pardew insisted that Newcastle are fully prepared for their visit to the relegation-threatened club.

"Our game plan is in place. John Carver knows it inside-out and I trust him 100% to deliver it," Pardew added.

Captain Fabricio Coloccini is poised to rejoin the first team after missing the win at Hull due to a family bereavement, a return that Pardew feels will be key in helping the team manage his absence from the dugout.

"Coloccini will come back into the team and he is important," Pardew explained. "His captaincy needs to step up a level over the next three games."