Pardew won't get complacent
Newcastle boss recognises that things change rapidly
Last Updated: September 30, 2011 3:29pm
Pardew: Happy with spirit at Newcastle and hopes their fine start to the season will continue at Wolves
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has insisted he will not be lulled into a false sense of security despite such a positive start to the season.
While the Magpies have previously demonstrated an unenviable capacity to generate unwelcome headlines on and off the pitch, they have begun the 2011-12 campaign in fine form and are currently flying high in fourth place after going unbeaten through their opening six Premier League games.
It is other managers who have had to handle awkward situations this week, with Roberto Mancini revealing that Carlos Tevez refused to play for Manchester City against Bayern Munich and Sunderland boss Steve Bruce deprived of the services of suspended defender Titus Bramble amid a police investigation into allegations of sexual assault and possession of a Class A drug.
But Pardew, who has had to deal with the alleged off-field indiscretions of young striker Nile Ranger in recent months, has been around long enough to know that things can change rapidly.
He said: "You have sometimes got to be smart enough to know that it goes around, and conflict and off-field activity will stain us, I am sure, this year.
"The way the media is, the way society is, you can almost expect it to happen, so it is just about making sure you keep those incidents to a minimum, that you try to instil in the players a discipline about their role at the football club.
"It is not just playing, it is about representing the club, and Nile Ranger is finding out at the moment how difficult that can be.
"You have always got somebody going through one of those periods."
Pardew is delighted with how things are currently going at Newcastle ahead of Saturday's game away to Wolves, but recognises that it has taken a long time to create such a strong team spirit.
"It just goes to show you, it is not about one or two players or even three players, it's about the group," said Pardew.
"The staff have all been here a long time. When I arrived, some of the staff members had been here about 15 years - we had gone through about five people like me, maybe six, even - so they have great experience of how to keep an even keel.
"I have enjoyed working with them. That group has been together a long time and that is part of it.
"It's also the standards we set on the training ground and on the pitch, and what we will accept and won't accept in terms of behaviour. It all adds to the spirit.
"Certainly, the foundations were laid and put down by the likes of Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and people like that because team spirit is important to those types of players.
"It's a trait that if you are a Newcastle player, you need to have."
Despite the air of optimism surrounding St James' Park, Pardew will send his side out at Molineux under orders to take nothing for granted.
He said: "If you were looking at the game on form, yes, we should win the game, but the Premier League throws the form book out of the window at times.
"Wolves are the type that upset that with their work-rate and their commitment to the cause. They have got good players in there, so it is a difficult game."