Crystal Palace are currently in fourth place in the Premier League table, having made an incredible start to the season.
Pardew took charge at Selhurst Park midway through the 2014/15 campaign, and he has rapidly improved the side, bringing in quality and getting the team to play with some freedom.
Nicholas feels that part of the reason for this is due to that added confidence that the Palace fans have given him, while he also went on record to praise Pardew for convincing the Eagles' board to invest big money in the squad - something his predecessors couldn't do.
"I think he's starting to enjoy life, after what was a horrible spell at Newcastle. I think because he now gets that appreciation level, he has more confidence within himself and his staff," he said on Sky Sports.
"The fabric of Palace was always good, but I think what Pardew has managed to do which Tony [Pulis] couldn't do, is convince the owners to give him a bit more cash. He's saying they'll be the entertainers and they want to be an attacking side, but he's also got a pretty strong balance.
"Pardew has got a bit of humour back and it's just like when we saw Jose Mourinho last season. He's so confident now."
Pardew's Palace currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League table, having started the new campaign in brilliant form.
Their latest victory over West Bromwich Albion was their fifth of the new term already, and the Eagles' are starting to make a statement about their quality.
With Yohan Cabaye being snapped up in the summer transfer window, they showed their ambition, and they certainly seem to have the talent to challenge even the very best England has to offer.
Palace have built one of the best forward lines in the Premier League, and they will go into their game with West Ham United after the international break high on confidence.