By Nicholas Veevers
Alan Pardew takes his Newcastle United team south on Saturday as they kick-off their FA Cup campaign with a Third Round tie at Brighton.
The Magpies were knocked out by the same opponents in last season’s Cup at the Fourth Round stage, courtesy of a 1-0 defeat at the Amex Stadium.
And Pardew wants to make sure his team progress this time, as he bids for more FA Cup history.
He told FATV: "For us, The FA Cup is a significant trophy and probably our best opportunity of winning something.
“The Premier League comes first for us, but The FA Cup comes very much second in front of the Europa League and the League Cup. That’s where I put it.”
Pardew already has a great deal of FA Cup experience from his career, both as a player and a manager.
Having started out in non-League, Pardew featured for the likes of Dulwich Hamlet, Whyteleafe and Yeovil Town in the early stages of the competition.
But it was his Semi-Final winner against Liverpool for Crystal Palace in 1990 and subsequent appearance in The Final against Manchester United that he is best remembered as a player.
"They were special days and you knew that if you could get through two or three rounds and the publicity that brought, you could maybe make a name for yourself,” he added.
"For me, at the time, I really wanted to be a pro so it was an opportunity for me to put myself in the shop window and those Cup games were massive for me.
“I was fortunate enough to get the winning goal (in the Semi-Final) and all of the headlines, but it gives out special magic moments.”
He came even closer to touching The Cup in 2006, when he led West Ham to The Final only to see the Hammers come within a penalty-kick from beating Liverpool in Cardiff.
With West Ham leading 3-2 after a thrilling contest, an injury time stunner from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard sent the game into extra-time and ultimately penalties.
And nearly seven years later, Pardew still feels that his team were unfortunate to come out on the losing side at the Millennium Stadium.
He said: "It was hard, because certainly on the day I thought we deserved to win and looking at the other bench, I knew Benitez and his team had resigned themselves to defeat.
"We were just so unlucky that the ball fell to Steven Gerrard and he hit a peach of a shot and we ended up in extra time.
"Again, we should have won it then, but it was only the penalties on the day that let us down.”
Watch the full interview with Pardew on FATV in the Media Gallery above, with the Newcastle boss talking in depth about his FA Cup memories as a child and more on those games in 1990 with Crystal Palace and the 2006 FA Cup Final.
By Nicholas Veevers
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