Alan Pardew

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Alan Pardew admits he is relishing his first return to Southampton on Sunday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

The current Magpies manager was appointed in charge of the Saints in July 2009 as they plied their trade in the third tier of English football and also had to deal with a ten-point deduction having entered administration.

When he left the Hampshire-based side just 11month later, Pardew had lifted the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and also set in place the foundations for new boss Nigel Adkins to build on as the Saints went on to rise through League One and the Championship back into the top flight.

And while he pleased to see Southampton performing well in the Premier League, Pardew is determined to get all three points on the South Coast this weekend.

"It's nice to see they got a win last week. They will be buoyed by that and there's a great atmosphere in that stadium," he said.

"I enjoyed my time there and am looking forward to going back.

"There will be some memories because we won a trophy while I was there. We were on minus-ten points but built a good side.

"They've made the transition well, equipped themselves well and were unlucky not to win on both occasions against the Manchester clubs."

A number of players who Pardew brought to the club are still pulling on the red and white shirt, having been key factors in their rise up the divisions.

And the manager never doubted their ability to make it at the highest level.

"They've got some great players - four or five of the ones in the team are guys I worked with in League One," explained Pardew.

"They have done exceptionally well, there are fantastic players I love there and I'm looking forward to seeing them.

"I had some great relationships there and there were some great players, who have done phenomenally well.

"Rickie Lambert, who I took to the club, and I am so proud of him. I always told him he could be a Premier League player and he's proved it.

"(Adam) Lallana, (Jose) Fonte, Kelvin (Davis) - it will be nice to see those guys who were in and around my team."