Thursday 14 December 2017

Pardew proud of Newcastle stint

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew concedes Wednesday's clash with former club Newcastle will be
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew concedes Wednesday's clash with former club Newcastle will be "emotional"

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew faces former club Newcastle this week in the firm belief he departed with his "head held high".

After four years in charge of the Magpies, Pardew quit at the end of December to return to Palace, a club he played for between 1987 and 1991.

Pardew's reign on Tyneside was occasionally a turbulent one, never more so than after the club's dismal start to the current campaign when they claimed just four points from the opening seven matches to leave them bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

The fans turned on Pardew, demanding his resignation and calling for owner Mike Ashley to leave, yet the 53-year-old managed to turn the tide, steering United out of danger and up the table.

The reaction of supporters when he finally did leave was mixed. Some claimed he had been harshly treated, others suggested he had made the right move in getting out.

Pardew will get some idea as to what the hardcore fans thought of him on Wednesday at Selhurst Park when Palace face Newcastle, not that he is overly concerned.

"I'm not expecting or hoping for any reaction," declared Pardew.

"We had some great times together. It was not so great the last year, but on the whole my experience there was great.

"I thought I did a good job and walked out with my head held high, and so I'm looking forward to the game.

"I've still got all my staff there and my players, and they're close to my heart.

"It will be strange because after four years after living every part of that football club and that city, good and bad, it's emotional.

"It will be a slightly different game for me."

Pardew will be delighted to see current Newcastle caretaker John Carver again, describing him as a "dear friend of mine".

All sentiment will be put to one side on Wednesday when Palace are likely to be slight favourites to continue their own rise up the table.

Joe Ledley's 55th-minute header at the King Power Stadium on Saturday was enough to give Palace a 1-0 win over Leicester, a fifth victory in six matches under Pardew since he took charge.

"It was important we reacted well to the Everton defeat (a 3-2 loss the previous weekend)," added Pardew.

"We showed resilience and had to really defend for our lives, and now we have set up the next game against my old team."

Pardew is hopeful a work permit will finally arrive for new signing Papa Souare on Monday following the left-back's move from Lille at the end of the January transfer window, enabling him to play against the Magpies.

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