Alan Pardew says he has “no bad feelings” towards Reading ahead of taking on his former club with Crystal Palace in Friday’s FA Cup quarter-final at the Madejski Stadium.
Pardew’s first managerial job was at Reading, between 1999 and 2003, but the manner of his departure to West Ham left many at the club upset.
And Pardew, who forced through the exit after Reading initially refused West Ham permission to appoint him as manager, says he understands why he has received a mixed reception whenever he has returned.
“I’ve never had a great reception but that’s pretty understandable the way I left,” Pardew said.
“I had a great period of my career there but I didn’t leave in the best circumstances. But I’ve seen [Reading chairman] John Madejski and the board and shook hands and put it behind us. I class him still as a friend really.
“There are no bad feelings on my part. There were mistakes made on both sides. We have both moved on.
“I was there on Saturday and the fans were brilliant when I was there but the reception I get is in their hands. All I know is that, for our fans, it’s a big game.”
Palace have not won a Premier League match since December 19, but have beaten Southampton, Stoke City and Tottenham on their way to the FA Cup’s last eight.
“The Premier League situation is causing us concern but not one where we don’t think we can get out of it,” said Pardew.
“We have a starting XI to win this competition but we have to negotiate a really difficult hurdle with Reading away.”
Palace playmaker Jason Puncheon is available after six weeks out, but striker Marouane Chamakh will miss the rest of the season with a torn abductor muscle.
Pardew said: “It’s a terrible injury for him. He’s been struggling with injuries and it’s such a shame.
“But Puncheon is available and that’s a big boost. We’ve really missed him in terms of his control of possession and Premier League experience.”
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