LONDON (AFP) - Newcastle United's new director of football, Joe Kinnear, on Monday said he has the blessing of Alan Pardew, despite concerns that his appointment could prompt the manager to leave the club.
"Before I had a meeting with (owner) Mike (Ashley), (managing director) Derek (Llambias) said he's informed Alan, and Alan said, 'Great news - I'm delighted with that. At last I've got somebody who's a football guy'," Kinnear told the Evening Chronicle newspaper.
The 66-year-old Kinnear, who left as Magpies manager in 2009 after a heart attack, said he was "delighted" to be working with Pardew and the pair had a good relationship.
"I have the utmost respect for him and I cannot see any problems between the two of us," he added.
Pardew, 51, who last September signed an eight-year extension to his contract at St James' Park, has not commented publicly on the appointment.
But there was surprise and anger on fans' forums, with many assessing the appointment was the prelude to Kinnear taking over from Pardew.
Newcastle made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League but struggled in the English Premier League, narrowly avoiding relegation and finishing 16th.
Kinnear said on Sunday that it was "glaringly clear" that they needed to improve and he would be in charge of finding and signing new players.