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Pardew set to be 'pantomime villain'
ALAN Pardew accepts he will be the “pantomime villain” when he returns to Reading with his Newcastle United squad this afternoon.
Pardew's first managerial experience came at the Madejski Stadium, and he spent four years as Reading boss, overseeing a promotion to the Championship and a narrow play-off defeat to Wolves.
However, he left in acrimonious circumstances in 2003, effectively resigning from his position to force through a move to West Ham United after Reading chairman John Madejski initially prevented him from talking to the London club.
Looking back, Pardew admits there were faults on both sides and claims he would have handled the situation differently today, something that is unlikely to spare him a rough reception later this afternoon.
“I am the pantomime villain down there for leaving the way I did,” said the Newcastle boss. “The situation could have been handled better by the club and myself. We both made mistakes.
“I was ambitious. I'd had nothing but success as a manager there, and probably thought I could run Man United. Obviously I couldn't at the time, but I thought I could.
“There's always things in a situation that could have been done better, but I wasn't allowed to talk to the club (West Ham) and that got my back up. It might not so much now, but it did at the time.
“Since then, I have more than made up with the owner. I have a lot to thank John Madejski for. I am looking forward to seeing him, and hopefully getting a positive result.”
Newcastle are still searching for their first away success of the season having drawn at Everton, Atromitos and Maritimo and lost at Chelsea and Manchester United, but their prospects of a victory have been hampered by injuries to Yohan Cabaye and Fabricio Coloccini.
Cabaye has suffered an infection after having his wisdom teeth removed, while Coloccini suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury during Wednesday's Capital One Cup defeat at Old Trafford.
The Newcastle skipper is unlikely to feature in Thursday's Europa League game with Bordeaux or next weekend's Premier League home game with Manchester United, a situation that represents a major blow given the failure to recruit a centre-half this summer.
“We have injury problems and I still don't think the team has settled down yet,” said Pardew. “Colo's hamstring looks like it could keep him out for the week, which is a blow because we have some important games.
“That is a worry, but I am not worried about the players I do have. We are in good form, and even the bench is difficult to pick at the moment because we have some good youngsters coming through. Now, it is about picking my best team to win each game. That first period of the season was also about getting everyone up to speed.”