Pardew charts highs and lows
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is preparing himself for "fireworks" as he heads into yet another epic battle with Liverpool on Sunday.
The 50-year-old CV boasts a famous FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool as a Crystal Palace player, but also a heartbreaking final defeat in the same competition as West Ham manager, and he is expecting another classic this weekend as the two clubs battle for a top-six Barclays Premier League finish.
Pardew said: "Liverpool brings out no middle ground for me. I have been beaten by them 9-0; I won a semi-final when they probably had the strongest team they have ever had and we should never have won; I was winning with 90 minutes on the clock in the FA Cup final and I was denied, and we should have won in extra-time, so that was another massive low."
He added: "Then obviously, my first game here was a massive win, very, very important for my tenure and everything else that has gone on since.
"There is no middle ground, so expect fireworks either really negatively or really positively."
Remarkably, Newcastle are currently eight points better off than the Carling Cup winners as they jealously defend the sixth place they hope they can retain or better over the remaining eight games of the campaign. A win or a draw this weekend would leave them in pole position to see off Liverpool's challenge.
However, Pardew knows even then, they would have a long way to go before the two clubs could be compared side by side.
He said: "They are a club steeped in a tradition of winning trophies, and they have won another one this year. We haven't got that tradition, unfortunately, and we need to try to gain it.
"But we have had a great season in the Premier League and we are trying to continue that on Sunday against what is a very talented team."