Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has backed his Norwich City counterpart Chris Hughton to bring success to Carrow Road.
The former Tottenham assistant manager Hughton took over at the Magpies following the club’s relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2008-09 season, guiding them to an immediate return to the Premier League and impressive victories over Arsenal and a 5-1 thumping of rivals Sunderland.
However, Hughton was surprisingly sacked from Newcastle in December despite holding a mid-table position and Pardew, an initially unpopular replacement, believes the man he succeeded will replicate that form at Norwich.
Hughton will be managing the away side at St James’ Park for the first time, when they travel to Newcastle for their Premier League clash on Sunday.
“Both of us could probably look each other in the eye and say we have done a decent job at Newcastle – so far on my part,” Pardew told reporters.
“On his part now, he has a different agenda, a different project, and a tough one because Norwich second year in have not really had too much investment in the team – it’s tough.
“But they have got some good players and had some great results last season.
“It’s a game that for us would probably put us in the top eight if we won, and that’s obviously where we want to be.”
Pardew is expecting Hughton to receive a positive reception from the home fans, but he hopes the result will end on an unhappy note for the former Birmingham City boss.
“Yes, unhappy on a professional level, that’s all,” Pardew added.
“He deserves it (a good reception). I don’t think there will be one fan who would begrudge singing his name, or whatever the fans decide to do.
“Certainly on my side, I said when I won my award at the end of the year that I found in here a winning spirit and a good organisation.
“Obviously, I wasn’t party to why he was taken away from the job, I just did what I do when I arrived.”