Alan Pardew says this was the greatest day of his time as West Ham manager

Alan Pardew

The former Hammers boss admits he has fond memories of his three-year spell in charge at Upton Park.

Former West Ham United manager Alan Pardew has told reporters that he still has fond memories of his time in charge of the club and named the 2004 Championship play-off semi-final win over Ipswich Town as his favourite Upton Park occasion, as quoted by BT Sport.

Pardew was manager of the London club from September 2003 until December 2006, and led them to promotion back to the Premier League via the play-offs, a subsequent top-half finish, and to the 2006 FA Cup final before being sacked after a poor run of form.

Since then he has returned to his Upton Park on numerous occasions as manager of other clubs, and he will make his final trip to his former club's traditional home ground when he takes his out-of-form Crystal Palace side there on Saturday.

The 54-year-old still harbours fond memories of his time in the dugout at the Boleyn Ground, but has highlighted on occasion in particular which still resonates with him well over a decade later.

Pardew told reporters, as quoted by BT Sport: "I had some fabulous nights there. None more so than the play-off semi-final win against Ipswich. That was a remarkable night for any West Ham fan who was there.

"We also had some great displays in the Premier League, and some great players. It's a football club. It smells like one, it looks like one, it feels like one. It's a real boisterous atmosphere which I always enjoyed as the manager.

"I don't enjoy going back as the opposition but I'm looking forward to the game. Crystal Palace vs West Ham is always a tough game."

As much sentiment as he may still have for his former employers, there is no doubt that Pardew would love to trade places with the Hammers on current form.

Whilst Slaven Bilic's side are flying high, Pardew's Palace are in freefall, with a 13-match winless streak in the league since 19 December having seen them fall from being touted as potential European challengers to just seven points outside the relegation zone.

The Eagles will be desperate for a positive result at Upton Park on Saturday ahead of a crucial game against 17th-place Norwich City the following weekend, knowing that two defeats would leave them mired deep in a relegation battle in the closing weeks of the season.

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