Mark Lawrenson believes Newcastle United fans must now regret losing Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew

The former Toos boss returns to St James' Park this afternoon.

Newcastle United take on Crystal Palace this weekend and will need to pick up a win at St James’ Park if they are to carry on their fight for Premier League survival.

This game also has added spice due to the fact Palace manager Alan Pardew is a former Newcastle manager, seemingly very unpopular with the Toon Army.

He left the club half-way through last season and since then John Carver and Steve McClaren have struggled to replicate any of Pardew’s success. Now the current incumbent Rafa Benitez is fighting a battle to enforce change.

One BBC pundit has been predicting the game this week.

Mark Lawrenson believes that Newcastle will win the game 2-0. But he also made some interesting comments about Pardew.

He suggested to the BBC that the current Newcastle predicament had nothing to do with Pardew and that Newcastle fans will now be wondering why they wanted rid of him:

"Newcastle's form has picked up too and you could argue this game is their cup final, which is why I am backing them to win it.

"It adds a little bit of spice that this is Alan Pardew's first game back at St James' Park since he left Newcastle to take charge of Palace last year, but not much.

"Pardew has moved on and so have Newcastle. Their current predicament has nothing to do with him.

"Some of their fans might realise now that he was actually a good manager for Newcastle and, subsequently, I think he will get a good reception."

That does however seem unlikely. The idea that a team, largely assembled by Pardew and already on a downward trend when he returned to former club Palace, now has nothing to do with him is surely false.

As for a good reception for Pardew, that seems just as unlikely.

If Newcastle win the game they will move to within six points of Palace, who are still far from safe in the relegation fight.

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