London: Alan Pardew has defended his record at Newcastle United saying the north east club "pulled above its weight" during his four, often turbulent, years in charge.
Pardew was named as manager of his former playing club Crystal Palace on Saturday after Palace met the terms of a release clause in his Newcastle contract.
While he is busy plotting this weekend`s home clash with in-form Tottenham Hotspur, Pardew`s Thursday news conference inevitably focussed on his reasons for leaving mid-table Newcastle for a relegation battle.
"It was difficult because it`s a big club run on fairly tight financial margins," Pardew, who spent 229 games in charge of Newcastle and took them into the Europa League in 2012, said.
"Our net spend was one of the lowest, we had to really work hard at transfers because the funds for a club of that size makes it difficult and for the fans to understand that you need slow progress, to build slowly, which we did for four years."
Despite a steady tenure at club desperate for success, Pardew never completely won over the Geordie faithful and a dismal start to this season saw a concerted campaign by fans to get him sacked, with scores of banners held up at home and away matches.
Pardew resisted any temptation to hit back though.
"I`ve left a good club, I like to think with a good base of young players and some fantastic professionals," the former Crystal Palace midfielder said.
"We`ve pulled above our weight at times. Of course when you lose games there will be criticism from the stands but never once did I sense that outside of the ground.
"I had tremendous support while I was there and want to thank all Geordies."
Pardew, who has also managed Reading, West Ham United and Southampton, said the decision to leave was his alone.
"Personally and professionallly it was the right time for me and the right time for Newcastle too if I`m honest," he said.
"It was my decision, (Palace chairman) Steve (Parish) met the clause in my contract and I had to make a decision which I hope was the right one for me and the right one for Palace."
Palace are third from bottom in the table and this weekend host a Tottenham side buoyant after beating Chelsea.
"When you`re fighting relegation you don`t want to hit teams in red hot form and Totenham are, so not the greatest of starts," he said.
"We will have to try and knock them off their stride.