Pardew wants Reds payback
Alan Pardew will have a score to settle when he sends his Newcastle team out for the first time against Liverpool on Saturday evening.
The Reds denied the now 49-year-old his finest hour in football when Steven Gerrard's last-ditch equaliser snatched victory from the grasp of his West Ham side in the 2006 FA Cup final. The Hammers were leading 3-2 in stoppage time at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff when the England midfielder levelled, and the Merseysiders went on to win a penalty shoot-out.
Pardew said: "It's a club that I feel I owe one to, so hopefully I can get a good win. They have picked up just recently and we have had a little dip, so it's a tough game."
Pardew does have happier memories of an earlier clash with Liverpool during his playing days, however.
It was his extra-time goal which fired Crystal Palace to a shock 4-3 FA Cup semi-final win at Villa Park, although the Eagles went on to lose the final to Manchester United after a replay.
Pardew said: "I have had a kind of chequered career with that club. It's funny, they always seem to turn up for me, and here we are again."
The atmosphere at St James' Park this weekend will be markedly different from those Pardew experienced on those two occasions with Magpies fans still fuming at Chris Hughton's sacking and bemused by the identity of his replacement.
That, of course, is not Pardew's fault, although he knows he is unlikely to be the most popular man inside the stadium even if most of the supporters' ire will be directed at owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias.
However, he remains confident that he at least can win over his detractors with his positive brand of football and the results he hopes that will bring as he attempts to address the club's indifferent home form.
Pardew said: "I have always thought that fans of the teams I have managed have enjoyed my style. I have always been the type, even when I play against dominant teams, teams who have more possession than us and can keep the ball better, who wants us to be on the front foot and looking to win the game."