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Pardew warns Mourinho over touchline behaviour
THEY have both got form for jumping into crowds, but Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has warned Jose Mourinho to stay on his side of the touchline divide when he brings Chelsea to St James’ Park.
The sides meet in today’s lunchtime kick-off on the back of two very different weeks with Newcastle having been beaten by arch rivals Sunderland and then by Manchester City in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.
In contrast, Chelsea and Mourinho have enjoyed a great week after Tuesday’s cup win at Arsenal followed a vital win over title rivals Manchester City in the Premier League.
Fernando Torres’ last gasp winner six days ago led to the Chelsea boss jumping into the Stamford Bridge crowd to celebrate, something Pardew has also done in the past.
And as he prepares to welcome one of the Premier League’s most charismatic and controversial figures to St James’ Park, Pardew insists he doesn’t mind Mourinho’s antics as long as he keeps his distance.
“He doesn't want to be jumping round me because I'll give him a slap,” Pardew joked. “I'm bigger than him and he knows that. He can jump around in the crowd or whatever he does. The bottom line for us is not so much Jose, as what he does with his team, which I take my hat off to.
“I've got my own history with that so I don't have a problem with it. If you're a football person and you can't love what he's about then you can't love the game or what he does. He makes me laugh. “ It isn’t the former Real Madrid’s manager’s touchline theatrics that Pardew is worried about, though. The Blues go into today’s contest unbeaten in the league since September 14 and Pardew admits they are beginning to show signs of being real title contenders.
He said: "I think they've spent a lot of money on top of the group they already had. If you can do without (Romelu) Lukaku then you've got a good team. The fact they could do that spoke volumes. “What Jose does, which goes undetected because of his personality where he can be humorous and articulate in the same sentence, what is sometimes forgotten is what he does on the training ground and the organisation and what he demands from his players.
"One of the big stands he makes is commitment, absolute commitment. If they don't offer that to him, then they don't play. When you've got that at a big club then you're going to get more results than not. Defensively he's one of the best coaches there is and you can very rarely score three goals against them.”
Pardew admits he remained in contact with Mourinho when he went abroad and enlisted his help when scouting teams Newcastle faced in the Europa League. The Magpies boss also revealed he had tried to persuade the Chelsea boss to let Romelu Lukaku join Newcastle on loan, but admits there was too much competition to sign him.
"We have a relationship where we have contact,” Pardew said “It's important sometimes because you can share information about other teams.
“I was obviously pestering him for Lukaku as well, but that didn't come off. We were one of four or five clubs who were on the phone to him, but sometimes it's dictated to you by other factors. He's a great player and as I say if you can let him go, and still have players like Demba (Ba), Mata, Torres, Oscar and Hazard as well, they all roll off the tongue.”
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