Dwight Gayle is Crystal Palace's top-scoring striker with four goals to his name this season.
Pardew has made no secret about his desire to bring in a striker in the January transfer window, to increase his options up front.
And Nicholas feels that Palace’s desire to sign a new striker proves that Pardew doesn’t believe Gayle has what it takes to be the main man up front.
"He obviously doesn’t quite trust Gayle," Nicholas said. "He trusts his work rate, but he doesn’t trust his finishing. He needs to find a solution to that."
Palace have been reported to be after a host of strikers during the transfer window so far, but Pardew claims that all the names that have been linked with moves to Selhurst Park are false.
Gayle is currently out injured, but there are no guarantees that he will win his place back when he does return to fitness.
Connor Wickham looks to be Pardew’s first choice striker, while Frazier Campbell has started up top more recently.
Gayle is Palace’s top scoring striker this season, with four goals to his name, but all these strikes have come in the League Cup.