David Moyes has praised the work of Alan Pardew and says Newcastle will have quite rightly readdressed their pre-season aims following a storming start to the campaign.
The unbeaten Magpies are third in the table having taken 22 points from 10 games, confounding the pre-season predictions of most observers.
Pardew this week described the Everton manager as ‘one of the best in the world’, and it seems respect is mutual.
“They have had a great start and have got themselves into a great position near the top of the table,” said the Blues boss. “I am sure Alan Pardew behind it all would have said, first and foremost always be a Premier League club, and then see where we go from there.
“They have not got enough points just yet but they are right at the top of the league and are probably thinking about doing much better and considering even getting into one of those European spots.
“But Newcastle has always been a really big club and Alan Pardew has done a good job. He maybe wasn’t everyone’s choice when he went in there but he has done it steadily and has won a lot of football matches.”
The Blues, meanwhile, have been left with four defeats from five following an unenviable run against some of the division’s elite teams.
He does, however, believe he has seen positive signs – both in defeat to Chelsea in the League Cup and to Manchester United last weekend.
“I thought we played as well as we have done all season in the two games,” he said. “I thought we were very unfortunate not to go through in the League Cup against Chelsea and against Manchester United last weekend it was as well as we have played against them over the years. We have beaten them in the past but I thought we had good control of the game without getting any points.
“We have lost a few games now but we knew it was a difficult run of games. It has been a hard period but you have got to play everyone twice and it doesn’t really matter how you get there. It is up to us now to go out there and pick up some more points.
“The performances we had at the start of the season were not the best but were getting us results. We were fortunate to win at Blackburn and we beat Wigan without playing particularly well. What would I take? I’d take the results as you are not that bothered about performances if you are winning, but it is nice if you can get both and hopefully our performances will now start getting us a few more points.”