Belfast Telegraph

Pardew describes Newcastle hurt

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew admits it hurt to watch his best teams being dismantled at Newcastle but claims he is a stronger and more resolute manager after four years in the North East.

Pardew was handed the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Year award in 2012 after leading the Magpies to a fifth-place finish and the club threatened the top four again last season before falling away in the second half of the campaign.

Newcastle's chances of Champions League qualification were harmed by high-profile departures as the likes of Andy Carroll, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy were all sold for handsome profits.

"I can think of two really good sides I had at Newcastle," Pardew said.

"The one that finished fifth - in a way you've kind of won the league for a team like Newcastle when you do that.

"But then I thought we actually had an even better team than that only 12 months ago when we had Loic Remy, Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Fabricio Coloccini, Tim Krul - that team was a really, really strong team.

"I was really hurt that we never got back to that team.

"Cabaye leaving was out of our control, he didn't give us any movement on that, and Remy got injured and we couldn't secure the position.

"We never got back to that and when that has happened before, it starts to hurt.

"They were ninth when I left, it's a really good, stable club and it's a good position for a different manager to take it forward and I hope they do."

Pardew came under heavy pressure from Newcastle fans earlier this season when the team sank into the bottom three and an online petition calling for him to be sacked gathered more than 2,000 signatures.

"You have to show a depth of character at Newcastle and a resilience," Pardew said.

"At times, under difficult circumstances, you have to show you're brave enough with your decisions to win games and I like to think that I proved that there.

"I'd be foolish to say everything was hunky-dory and I was happy go lucky about it all.

"It's a serious business for the Newcastle fans. You have to produce, you have to deliver.

"I got used to that pressure after a while, like you do at any big club I guess, but it doesn't mean it goes away.

"Defeats hurt, particularly big defeats."

Pardew admitted he "wasn't party to" all the transfers that were made at Newcastle, with owner Mike Ashley preferring a continental structure that shares decision-making for recruitment.

The former West Ham and Reading boss insists, however, that was never a problem.

"The scouting and recruitment decisions, like at most Premier League teams, were based perhaps on the future and the business," Pardew said.

"Some of those transfers I wasn't party to but big signings into the club, of course I had final say on those - Cabaye, Sissoko, Debuchy - I was heavily involved in - but not all of them.

"I think you'll find that's the case at Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester United - I don't think it's that different but for some reason Newcastle gets a more negative reaction than most."

Pardew added: "Like anything you can always look at a situation 'glass half-empty'.

"I think the local media being banned didn't help, that was difficult, they looked at a lot of negative situations there which didn't help with the fans.

"That was stuff I had to put up with and deal with but it was always 'glass half full' for me and I'll always be that type."

Pardew played for Palace between 1987 and 1991 and holds a special place in the hearts of Eagles fans after he scored an extra-time winner to beat Liverpool in the 1990 FA Cup semi-final.

"Does that count for anything for now? To a degree, when you've been at a club and performed well, it stands you in good stead," Pardew added.

"I'm not saying it will cushion every blow, I'm under no illusions.

"I have to do what I do well, set up a team, motivate them and try to get them to achieve more than they can. That's my big strength and that's what I want to do."

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