Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew declares admiration for Steve Kean after turnaround in Blackburn's fortunes

The Magpies’ boss has praised the the job done by the heavily criticised manager, claiming Rovers will be tougher opponents than when the two side met earlier in the season

Alan Pardew has spoken of his admiration of the job Steve Kean has done at Blackburn Rovers this season, claiming it will be harder for Newcastle United to take points in their meeting on Wednesday than it was in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Pardew also claimed that it will be hard for his side to recreate the 3-1 victory at home because of the turnaround headed by the heavily criticised manager.

The 50-year-old praised Kean’s resilience after turning around the fortunes of the club by taking points from away visits to Anfield and Old Trafford.

"I think Steve Kean has done a terrific job just lately with that team," Pardew told the club’s official website.

"They are a lot stronger and better than they were when we've played them before, and it's going to be a tough game.

"I think they've got stronger and you have to admire him for coming through what was the eye of a storm at that time.

"Now it will be the second half of the season and trying to keep the team in the division, and I hope he does."

The Newcastle boss went on to acknowledge that his side will have to improve on their performance in the 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion if they are to take anything away from Ewood Park.

Even though the game was largely disappointing, Pardew did find some positives to take from the performance, claiming they need to be more efficient in front of goal.

He said: "We are confident in so much that the performance at Brighton was a good performance in terms of physically and our technical stats, it was a game we would have won normally - there was enough chances there.

"The only criticism was what I spoke about after - that we should have perhaps put a bit more percentage ball in the box, and then we would have created a couple more.

"I think that is something we can correct at Blackburn."