Newcastle United head into the final stretch in an excellent position, with Chelsea and Liverpool limping to the finishing line it could well be in our own hands as to whether we can finish fifth or sixth.

How Newcastle finish the season could well help or hinder how strong Newcastle’s hand will be in the summer transfer market.

If Alan Pardew ever fancied an alternative career then I could well see him as a supreme politician or psychologist, such is the job he is doing at Newcastle.

Whoever sits in the St.James’ Park hotseat has always had to be more than somebody who just selects players and tactics, dealing with all the pressures and politics inside and outside of Newcastle has always been almost as big a part of the job.

Alan Pardew has openly acknowledged the difficult job he has in terms of being squashed between Mike Ashley and the supporters, treading a fine line in terms of what he achieves and how he goes about it.

Witness what he had to say this week about Demba Ba still being at St.James’ Park next season;

“I think Demba’s made it quite clear that he loves it here. I think that’s a big part of Demba. I think if you know Demba you know that he is an emotional person. It isn’t all about money for him.

I think the fans can play a big part in keeping him. If I had a message I would say it would be nice for them to show him they want him to stay”.

My analysis is that he is sending out a powerful both to the fans to get behind Ba and the team as a whole, something which was sadly lacking against Norwich, whilst at the same time telling Mike Ashley how important the manager sees Demba Ba as being to the team.

Previous managers might have questioned the fans’ support and/or told the owner(s) if they didn’t keep certain players they’d be off, instead Alan Pardew makes clear to everybody exactly what he wants but in the cutest way possible.

Team selector, Politician, Tactician, Psychologist….all in a day’s work for Alan Pardew.