Sam Allardyce insists he harbours no bitterness towards Newcastle despite claiming he was not given enough time at the club.
Blackburn boss Allardyce returns to St James' Park for the first time as a manager since he was sacked by the Magpies early in 2008 after less than a year in charge.
Allardyce said: "I have proved most of the time that when I get a football club it improves from where it was.
"That was going be the case at Newcastle but I was not given enough time, but there is no bitterness towards the club.
"I'm not sure that apart from Arsene [Wenger] and Sir Alex [Ferguson] anyone else has managed at this level for as long as I have.
"I take a huge amount of pleasure in having been able to sustain my ability in the best league in the world."