Pardew was in charge at the Berkshire side for four years between 1999 and 2003 before leaving to take over at West Ham.
His successor, Steve Coppell, took Reading into the Premier League three years later but McDermott credits the foundations laid by the current Magpies manager as the key to their recent success.
"Alan Pardew is a good friend of mine and I believe he set the identity for this club over a period of time," the Royals boss told reporters.
|13/1||Reading are 13/1 with PaddyPower to beat Newcastle 2-0
"I hope he gets a good reception on Saturday, but it will be what it will be. Everyone's moved on from when he left for West Ham."
McDermott was brought to the club by Pardew in 2000 as chief scout and later made head coach of the Under-19 and reserve teams.
"I didn't really know Alan until I met him at a game at Brentford. I was cold, it was wet and I was out of work," he recalled.
"We had a conversation and Alan must have remembered me because I got a phone call out of the blue a little while later asking if I wanted to come.
"I'd never been chief scout before. I was working incredible hours, but I loved it. Alan was paying me about £2.50 per hour, so he got his money's worth.
"I loved working with him, as I did with Steve Coppell. It was never a hardship. Alan was very good for me personally and for Reading as a football club. He's been very successful at a number of clubs since."
|"We stripped the team back to what we're about [against QPR]. Everyone could see we had a real identity"
- Brian McDermott
Reading are bottom of the Premier League after four games and are still seeking their first top-flight victory but got off the mark in the League Cup on Wednesday with a 3-2 win over QPR.
"It was a really good night for us, especially after the last two league games where we felt we hadn't done ourselves justice," McDermott added.
"We stripped the team back to what we're about last night. Everyone could see we had a real identity.
"It's about being close as a group. Last night we attacked and defended as a group. Doing things together is the ethos of this club.
"Everyone feels better about themselves after last night. It's tough because we're not used to losing games here. It's not something we like doing."