Sam Allardyce is delighted he took the gamble and joined Newcastle United in the summer.

He said: "I had the safest job in football at Bolton, the safest manager's job you could get.

"When I came to Newcastle it was the most insecure job in the Premier League, based on the number of managers they have sacked in a short period of time. I have come here to try and change that. But I feel like I am mad sometimes! I could have signed another big long contract but it was my time to challenge myself somewhere else.

"I picked this place - and the size of it and the capabilities of it - and put myself on the line. I have always enjoyed the challenge of bigger places. I have bigger players here than at Bolton and, hopefully, more to come to try and bring success with.

"At the end of the day I took this job to win something. It has been doom and gloom this week but everywhere is like that. At Bolton, 3,000 people stopped turning up when we lost a game.

"You don't get that here but they are all desperate for success. That is the challenge we have meet, head-on."