Thursday lunchtime saw Alan Pardew meet the media ahead of the game at St James Park on Saturday.

What a game.

Heading for a fifty two thousand+ sellout, the game sees Alan Pardew return to Tyneside for the first time since he returned to London to manage Crystal Palace.

Sadly Newcastle fans can’t enjoy the prospect of Pardew-baiting too much, what with relegation staring us in the face.

So what does Alan Pardew have to say about his return?

The first quotes from today’s press conference have been released by Crystal Palace and Alan Pardew looking forward to playing his old club says ‘That’s a big bear we have got to fight in that pit!’.

Pardew says he ‘loved managing Newcastle’, having ‘great times’ and some ‘difficult ones’.

Alan Pardew says he is ‘desperate’ for Newcastle to stay up and is sure that Yohan Cabaye will get a ‘great reception’ on his own return to Tyneside.

Alan Pardew speaking at his Newcastle press conference:

“We’re still not mathematically safe and that’s the task at hand.

“We have a slight concern over Zaha. Other than that everybody’s fit & well. We’re going to have to monitor Wilf (Zaha) over the next 48 hours. I’d say Wilf’s chances are 50/50.

“Only a Cup final can generate (this type of mood). They guys are in fantastic spirits, looking forward to that occasion.

“I need to focus the team on this Saturday’s game and the game after and the game after that. We need to keep this feeling.

alan pardew

“We wanted to control the game (Sunday’s FA Cup semi v Watford) which we did. And we got the victory for our fans. It was a great occasion.

“There is a very small margin between us and the teams above. Everyone’s looking at that 12th place and trying to hunt it down.

“That period where we lost all our key offensive players which has made this finish very tight. We’re going to ensure that (injury problems) doesn’t happen next year.

“At the moment it’s going well (Newcastle’s form). That’s a big bear we’ve got to fight in that pit!

“I loved managing Newcastle United. I had some great times there and some difficult ones.

“They’ve improved (under Rafa Benitez). He’s managed at the very top of the game. Of course I want them to stay up.

“I’m desperate that Newcastle United stay up. Having said that, my job is to get the three points for Crystal Palace.

“Yohan Cabaye showed at the weekend: the bigger the game, the better he plays. I’m sure the NUFC fans will give him a great reception.

“The atmosphere will be red hot and their team has improved. It’s a tough ask to try to win there.

“This is as close as we’ve been to that game (the 5-1 win over Newcastle at Selhurst Park), in terms of form, fitness and spirit.

“I’m hoping that my team is in good shape for Saturday.

“Eddie Jones (England Rugby Coach) was in today. We’ve had a word with the team about complacency (and avoiding it].

“We (Pardew and Eddie Jones) share a couple of professional friends. A lot of the views he has run parallel with my own. It was nice to have him.”