Such a comment from the manager of Newcastle United might well have caused uproar 10-15 years ago - but it just goes to show the respect which now exists between the two North East rivals.
Pardew has finally commented on the departure of Sunderland boss Paulo Di Canio - a man who recently featured in goalkeeper Steve Harper's 20 years at Newcastle charity football match.
"I was disappointed, because he attacked the job with passion and enthusiasm, and it hasn't worked out. So there's some sympathy for him and the club, and I wish them well.
"I'm not going to throw any criticism at what Paolo did at Sunderland. He entered the job with good faith, and he did an honest job, which is what he thought was right, and I'm sad to see him go."
The Toon manager will go up against the fourth different Sunderland manager when the Black Cats host Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby next month.
Pardew praised the historic rivalry in the North East, and has nothing but kind words for Sunderland - even if not for their fans:
"I have been a guest at Sunderland as a manager and treated very well, though not quite as well by their fans!
"That is the rivalry there is between two massive clubs. If the new manager can get that place moving, it’s a great club."
Sunderland host Liverpool and Manchester United, and travel to Swansea before the Tyne and Wear derby at the Stadium of Light on 27 October.
What do you think about Pardew's comments?
image: © Brian Minkoff - London Pixels