By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Alan Pardew is relishing the start of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League campaign, and believes Newcastle's opener against Tottenham Hotspur is a great one for the fans.
The Magpies kick off the new campaign with a home fixture against Spurs on Saturday, 18th August - a repeat of their first ever Premier League game back in 1993.
And, having seen his side come from behind twice to record a dramatic 2-2 draw in the same fixture last season, Pardew is well aware that it could serve up another cracker.
"It's a fantastic start to be at home - I thought our home game against Spurs was one of the best matches last season", the manager told nufc.co.uk.
"We will be looking forward to that. I'm pleased for our fans as it's a great way to start the season.
"The expectation will be on us to win all our games, so it's no issue that it's a tough one.
"I think the start is a lot tougher than last year and the end looks tough as well, so we will be hoping to get everything we want done as soon as possible and hopefully before we get into that opening period."
Fixture-release day is a highly-anticipated date in every football fan's diary, and it appears that is no different for managers.
Pardew revealed that - aside from the opening day - he instantly looked for the local derbies against Sunderland, and knows those results could be important to Newcastle's fortunes this season.
"The first home game is probably the one I look for first, quickly followed by the Sunderland situation," he explained.
"Those Tyne-Wear derbies are key factors in the season. Just like last year, we are away at the Stadium of Light first, which isn't ideal, but we coped with that well and we will hopefully do so again.
"After that, I look at the Christmas games and then the final game. I haven't studied it in too much detail yet, but it always looks really, really tough on paper and this season is no different."
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