NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew has apologised for a foul-mouthed rant at Manchester City counterpart Manuel Pellegrini.
The 52-year-old aimed an expletive-laden volley at the Chilean during the first half of his side's controversial 2-0 Premier League defeat by the new leaders on Saturday afternoon.
A contrite Pardew said: "I hear that it's been picked up a little bit, and I apologise for my comments 100 per cent.
"It was a heat of the moment thing. We just had words that we always have as managers, to a degree. I have apologised to him and fortunately for myself, he has accepted that."
Pardew's comments included a particularly offensive four-letter word, and he later admitted Pellegrini's involvement in the spat did not merit that.
He said: "No, I don't think it merited that word, if I am honest. As I said, I have apologised for that particular word, but we sort of tease each other a little bit and have words."
Pellegrini insisted he did not know what Pardew had said to him, but was untroubled by the exchange, although he did accuse the Newcastle boss of questioning every decision the officials made.
He said: "I'm not surprised because I think it is impossible to complain about every decision of the referee during the match.
Pellegrini could have striker Sergio Aguero back for Wednesday's FA Cup third-round replay with Blackburn.
Aguero returned to training this week after recovering from a calf injury that has ruled him out since the 6-3 League win over Arsenal on December 14.
"I'll be ready for action this week," Aguero told his official website.
"My injury is improving slowly. Recovery's going very well. I'm back to sprinting on the field and moving the ball around. I'll be fully recovered by the Cardiff game and depending on how the week's training goes I may be able to show up for a few minutes on the second leg against Blackburn for the FA Cup.
"We are putting up challenge in every competition this year, the striker said. "Then the World Cup is coming up and I hope to keep my form and the level of my game when it arrives.
"Since Manuel arrived, he's been working on improvement and I think the team is shaping up already."