No old pals act at St James’s Park says Alan Pardew

HARD WORK ... Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
HARD WORK ... Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

IT’LL be friends reunited in the dugouts at St James’s Park tomorrow.

But those bonds will be forgotten for 90 minutes.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew worked with West Bromwich Albion assistant Kevin Keen during his time at Upton Park.

And Pardew’s No2, John Carver, is close friends with visiting boss Steve Clarke from their time together on Ruud Gullit’s staff at St James’s Park.

Clarke’s sixth-placed side have been the surprise package of the Premier League season so far.

Pardew, however, isn’t surprised by their form.

“Steve Clarke isn’t a surprise – he isn’t a surprise to us,” said Pardew.

“He’s a good friend of John, and his assistant is Kevin Keen, who worked with me at West Ham.

“They are guys who we know are thorough, and we’ve got to make sure that we test them, because they’ll come with a plan to make it difficult for us and try to hurt us on the break.”

West Brom, then managed by England coach Roy Hodgson, won 3-2 at St James’s Park last season.

“Last year, it was one of my disappointing games,” added Pardew.

“They were tactically open and they have great pace on the break.

“We have to be careful about that, but if we go about it in an organised and disciplined way, we can beat them.”