Gus Poyet, the Brighton manager, believes that Alan Pardew will become a Tyneside legend if he can deliver success, but hopes to continue his own run of achievement against the Geordies at the Amex Stadium this evening.
The Uruguayan scored a number of goals against the Magpies in his playing career, two for Chelsea in a 2-1 FA Cup semi-final victory in 2000. "I remember reading that Bobby Robson said something like: 'I'll kill that Poyet one day'," Poyet said. "I can imagine how he was feeling because somehow I was always having that chance against Newcastle
"Playing at Wembley, in the best national cup in the world – the FA Cup – scoring two goals to put your team through to the final to give them a chance to win another trophy, it's incredible. People remember my goal against Sunderland, but those two are up there with the best I've ever scored in terms of their importance.
"It was one of my best days in football, without a doubt. And if you see pictures of that day, I'm like a little kid. And then when I changed teams, when I went to Spurs in one of my first games for them I scored. They man-marked me for the first time in my career. I was 33, 34 – it makes you feel good! But somehow I got away and scored."
Although Poyet would like to complete a double over teams from the North-east after Brighton's Carling Cup victory against Sunderland in September, he would relish a replay at St James' Park, where Brighton won a third-round replay en route to the 1983 final. "You play to win, but it would be great for the players," he said. "You want to play in the best places, and that's one of them.
"It was a lovely place to play football, always incredible, always full, the atmosphere was spectacular, so I always enjoyed playing there. They are unbelievable fans, and I know that sooner or later a manager will do well there and become a legend, because they've got everything: a great stadium, the possibility to bring players in, and you've got fans there every week.
"So if you do well, like Alan is doing, I'm sure he's going to be there for many, many years. And then he's going to be a legend for ever, because that's what they want – a team that can win matches against anyone."