Pardew: Toon spell was fabulous
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes he has left a "legacy" to be proud of at Newcastle as he prepares to take on his former club for the first time.
The Magpies, managed by Pardew's former assistant John Carver, travel to Selhurst Park to meet Pardew's in-form Palace as they look for just a second win since he left the north-east.
Pardew's four-year spell at St James' Park was often fraught with difficulties and the fans turned on him on more than one occasion - including the period directly leading up to his departure.
But the 53-year-old, who opted to move back to Palace instead of fighting against the tide at Newcastle, insists he bears no grudge and is proud of the work he achieved during his tenure.
"I had a fabulous time as Newcastle United manager," Pardew wrote in his programme notes.
"We took the team to a fifth place finish in the Premier League in the 2010/11 season and it is an achievement that can never be taken away from any of us who were involved in it.
"If you look at my net spend we had in my time at Newcastle on transfers, you can only conclude it was a successful period because the club I left are established in the Premier League with a platform to go to the next level. It is a legacy that I am proud to have on my record.
"Much was muttered and written during my time in the north east, and as this is the first chance I have had to talk directly to the Newcastle supporters and the players who worked so hard for me since my departure, it is a great opportunity to reflect on a period that was much-discussed and often unfairly judged in my opinion.
"For a variety of reasons, the Newcastle supporters ran out of patience with me as manager of their club, but I can assure each and every one of them that I bear no grudge.
"You love your club more than any owner or manager and the pressure that goes with a massive job like that is well known before you take on the challenge. Let's all move on and cherish the good days we had together."
A win for Palace will take them to within two points of Newcastle and, whilst Pardew used his section of the pre-match programme to talk at length about his time there - having not held a customary pre-match press conference - he said three points for the Eagles was his ultimate aim.
He said: "I miss so many people at Newcastle, especially my wonderful staff, who were so loyal and committed to me and the club throughout my time in the north east, which isn't always easy when the tide of popular opinion has turned against you.
"Despite all the negativity that was generated around my presence at Newcastle at times, I was proud and honoured to manage the club and while the three points I'm desperate to collect tonight as Palace manager are all important, nothing will ever dilute the affinity and affection I will always hold for the club who are in opposition tonight."