Pardew is back at St Maryâ€™s for the first time since being ruthlessly booted out by Saints chairman Nicola Cortese two years ago â€” but he is not bitter.
Hardline Cortese and Pards just never got on.
He said: â€œWas I mentally scarred after getting sacked? No, I was quite happy about it if Iâ€™m honest. I thought Iâ€™d done a good job but it was proving to be very, very difficult to work with Mr Cortese.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t a case of jumping before being pushed. No, I donâ€™t think I would ever do that.
â€œBut it was a difficult period working with Mr Cortese. We just didnâ€™t see eye to eye.
â€œThere was no nastiness in there, he just didnâ€™t want me as his manager.
â€œI think that was obviously coming through to me.
â€œI had a great relationship with the fans, though, and our performances were strong bearing in mind we had minus 10 points and didnâ€™t really have a starting XI when I arrived.
â€œBut the over-riding factor for me was the players I left behind â€” Iâ€™m talking Jose Fonte, Lallana, Lambert, Jason Puncheon â€” who I took to the club.
â€œThey are all in the first team and I am very proud of that because they are all terrific lads and have all done really well.
â€œAnd I think they have improved this year, probably enough for the club to stay in the Premier League."