ALAN Pardew says he tried to sign Southampton’s Adam Lallana at Newcastle United – as the midfielder strikes “fear” into him.
Pardew worked with the England international during his 13 months in charge at the St Mary’s Stadium.
And United’s manager, heavily linked with a move for the 25-year-old a year ago, admits he tried to bring him to St James’s Park.
Seventh-placed Newcastle take on Southampton at home tomorrow looking to climb further up the Premier League table after taking 15 points out of a possible 18.
But they must stop attack-minded Lallana, who won his first senior cap last month and is tipped to make Roy Hodgson’s squad for next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
Pardew is familiar with a number of Southampton’s players, not least striker Rickie Lambert, also now an England international.
However, Lallana – who has scored three league goals so far this season – is the player he fears most.
“Obviously, Rickie I know, and (Morgan) Schneiderlin and Lallana, who is their best player at the moment,” Pardew said.
“Not many people mention him, but he is the one player I fear out of their group.
“He’s somebody I’ve tried to bring here.
“It’s someone we’re going to have to keep an eye out for.”
Pardew, dismissed by Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese in August 2010, spoke about the “injustice” of his sacking in his pre-match Press conference.
While Cortese’s decision still rankles, Pardew - who was temporarily replaced by his former assistant, Dean Wilkins, before Nigel Adkins took charge at the St Mary’s Stadium - was grateful that soon after that door closed, another one opened at United.
“There’s a cliche that one door closes and another opens,” he said.
“I had a door open for me which was perhaps unexpected, but you’ve still got to step through it and do the job, which I’ve managed to do.
“For Southampton, it’s worked for them.
“They (first) opened it to Dean Wilkins, actually, and it was a disaster.
“But then they got Nigel Adkins and then Mauricio Pochettino, who has been terrific.