Pardew aims to leave old mentor Fergie with bitter taste of defeat
Alan Pardew will be out to bite the hand that once fed him when the Newcastle manager pits his wits against Alex Ferguson at St James' Park tonight.
Pardew recalled the day he visited the Manchester United manager at the club's training ground and was forced to eat salt with his porridge. Tonight Pardew will aim to leave the Scot with another nasty taste in his mouth following his team's FA Cup semi-final defeat.
"I went to the training ground once and he said 'you've got to have some porridge' and convinced me that salty was the way to have it," Pardew said. "It's the Scottish way. I stood up a good argument for sugar and, when he wasn't looking, I took a bit of salt off. Soft southerner. It was good porridge, but I'm off porridge now."
The business breakfast took place when Pardew, the former Reading, West Ham and Southampton manager, was "between jobs".
"It goes unrecorded about Alex that he's a big part of the LMA (League Managers Association) and he's always got a word for younger managers. He invites people to the training ground and looks after them. Not everybody does that, I can assure you."
"It's very good that we've got somebody at the top of the game who does that. To give up that time for a coach who's coming there to view a bit of training is a really nice bonus. I'm sure others have taken advantage of it, too."
Had it not been for Ferguson, Pardew might not have been working at the Premier League's northern outpost.
"I asked him a bit of advice -- it's only wise to ask the main man," Pardew said. "Before I got the Southampton job and after I was at West Ham, he said 'I think the football world should see that you can work outside London'.
"That was one of the main reasons that I took Southampton. I couldn't have come much further away now, could I? But I don't want to do a tour of the country. I'm quite happy where I am."
Meanwhile, Pardew believes Joey Barton -- the player who represents the greatest threat to Ferguson's Premier League leaders on Tyneside -- should have been in the PFA Team of the Season.
"If you're just looking on Joey this season, I think he gets in that team," Pardew said. "Probably if he'd burst on to the scene as a 20-year-old, and played the football he had this season, he'd be in."
"But he'd had a past and that plagues him somewhat. Only he can get rid of that by consistently doing what he's done this year. Maybe he'll be in that team a couple of years down the line if he plays anything like he's done this year." (© Daily Telegraph, London)