Pardew said: "Are we contenders? No. We have had a great start and shown lots of sides to our team in the last 10 games. What we have done is put some pride back into the shirt.
"Could that create high expectations? That is not a problem. You are underestimating the knowledge of our fans.
"I didn't expect us to be going into this game unbeaten, that's for sure. So, in that respect, we've exceeded my expectations for the team. But I honestly felt in pre-season that, potentially, we had a good side.
"I haven't raised my targets yet. I did say that 10 games would be an indicator of what sort of team we would be, and I think that is a good barometer.
"But because of the next month in front of us, perhaps it gives me a little bit more breathing space to find out.
"We are obviously going into a run against the real quality sides in the division. After that, I think we'll know a little bit more, but we've certainly proven we are a decent side.
"I really don't sense that the supporters have unrealistic expectations."